Fall is here.. and so are pumpkins. For the next few months pumpkins will decorate ever farmers market, doorsteps, and windsills from NY to Kalamazoo. Growing up I looked forward to three things in the fall, colorful leaves, cooler weather, and pumpkins (by way of pumpkin pie, cheesecake, pumpkin bread- you get the point). In fact I was pretty used to seeing those funny looking squash turned into something delicious. So you could only imagine what a shock it was for me to see so many people toss their pumpkins into the garbage right after Halloween! I mean they didnt even scoop the seeds out and toast them with sea salt. But I digress.. The pumpkin just happens to be a delish vegetable. Its also loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, & E. Each cup of cooked pumpkin contains 12mg of vitamin C, 3mg of vitamin E, 1.4 mg of iron, 22 mg of magnesium and 21 mcg of folate. (Marie, 2013)Thats great news for anyone looking to to take good care of their skin (vitamin E), deal with the cold season (vitamin C), or anyone carrying a child (folate) (Marie, 2013) Pumpkin are delish and versatile! Use the flesh for soups, salads, pies, breads, & cakes. Rinse the seeds, toss them in canola oil, and salt for a healthy snack. Here’s a tasty recipe for a healthy pumpkin parfait from The Vegetarian Times with my vegan peeps in mind-Enjoy!
Pumpkin Parfaits with Oat Crunch
- ½ cup puffed rice cereal
- ¼ cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant), such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- 2 Tbs. raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 3 Tbs. gluten-free tofu cream cheese, such as Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cream Cheese Alternative
- ½ cup sweetened pumpkin pie filling
- 6 oz. vanilla soy yogurt
To make Oat Crunch:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine puffed rice, oats, and pumpkin seeds in small bowl. Add maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and pinch of salt; stir well. Transfer ingredients to prepared baking sheet; spread into thin layer. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from oven; let cool. Break up Oat Crunch with fingers, and set aside.
To make Pumpkin Mousse:
1. Whisk tofu cream cheese in bowl until fluffy. Add pumpkin pie filling, and whisk until smooth. Chill.
2. Spoon 2 Tbs. yogurt into serving glasses. Top with one-quarter Pumpkin Mousse. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. Oat Crunch over each parfait. Repeat process with yogurt, Pumpkin Mousse, and Oat Crunch.
Marie, J. (2013). The health & nutrition of pumpkins. Retrieved from http://citationmachine.net/index2.php?reqstyleid=2&mode=form&reqsrcid=APAWebPage&srcCode=11&more=yes&nameCnt=1
Pumpkin parfaits with oat crunch. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/pumpkin-parfaits-with-oat-crunch/