During the month of October, it seems that you can't turn around without tripping over a "pumpkin" food. Pumpkin coffee, muffins, breads, soups and the like pepper the menus of many a restaurant and people appear to be sharply divided as to how to best enjoy this fall vegetable. Many feel that it only belongs pureed, sweetened and poured into a pie crust, while others enjoy it best in a latte (although I don't know how much pumpkin is actually in those spiced coffee drinks.)
Pumpkin is incredibly good for you, chock full of Vitamins A, C, K and E, as well as very high in fiber and low in calories. It's most often served in a pie, which means that it's mixed with plenty of sugar and often served with whipped cream - both of which defeat the purpose of all of those vitamins.
Why not try making pumpkin muffins for a delicious breakfast treat? Served with small cups of yogurt, it's a delicious and satisfying breakfast that just feels like fall. Another delicious breakfast choice is a pumpkin smoothie - freeze your pumpkin puree ahead of time. When you'd like to prepare the smoothie, pour 1.5 cups of milk and 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt. Blend. While the blender is still moving, drop in several spoonfuls of frozen puree and sweetener of your choice to taste. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
One of my favorite ways to prepare pumpkin in the fall is pumpkin spice cookies. Mixed with cranberries or golden raisins, these cookies are a delicious after school treat. Don't forget the parchment paper when you are baking the cookies - the cranberries may leak and stick to the pan. The parchment paper makes clean up a snap!
What is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin during the fall months?