If you watch my Instagram feed you know that I spent an evening last month cutting, roasting and blending a “Cinderella” pumpkin into beautiful, bright orange puree. I love pumpkin puree for so many reasons. When my son was a baby I fed him pumpkin puree, warm with a little bit of nutmeg, as a breakfast dish or with a little melted cheese as a dinner or lunch. He gobbled it down like a champ and, as a result, enjoyed the many health benefits of pumpkin. There are a lot, including heart health, eye site, skin health, reduced cancer risk, mood and immune health! Now that my little dude is past the “puree eating” stage we use pumpkin as an add-in to make his favorite things healthy without him knowing about it. I’ve been known to throw a dollop of that orange-colored super food into his oatmeal, mix it in to his mac and cheese or morning yogurt and even make a whole meal out of the stuff if the mood strikes me. The bottom line is this : pumpkins are going to be on clearance soon (like now) and you can get them for a steel at the store. Turning a pumpkin into pumpkin puree is actually quite simple and before you know it you have a freezer full of what I call “stealthy healthy.” Don’t know what I’m talking about? It may be time for some vocab.
Pumpkin is my idea of a GREAT stealthy healthy. It tastes good (to avoid granola alarms) and is packed with health benefits. It really is hard to beat. Plus, pumpkin tastes good in EVERYTHING in the month of November. Something happens to American taste buds that makes them prone to pumpkin preference in the fall. I’m pretty sure that’s a scientific fact. It is DEFINITELY alliteration (word-nerd delux).
If you want to get in on the pumpkin puree action check out some of the recipes I have found (below) that taste great and leave your little granola heart glowing with pride.
Pioneer Woman’s Favorite pumpkin recipes. This woman is my all time favorite. I want to be Ree Drummond when I grow up. This link includes the most amazing pumpkin soup in the world. HINT: Add some spicy sausage to it to really make it POP. Not all of Ree’s recipes are healthy (southern cooking alert!) but there are definitely ways to modify these recipes to reduce the fat … if you care.
Pumpkin Waffles: Just whip up your usual waffle mix with 1/2 the amount of water and no oil. Dump in 1/2 cup of pumpkin and maybe a dash of nutmeg and watch your little waffle-eaters’ eyes light up. YES PLEASE.
Everything: Just shrug your shoulders and add some pumpkin puree to anything you think might work. Oatmeal, smoothies, peanut butter dip, soup, stew, pasta … anything! The fun of being the “cook” is you get to experiment. Adding stealthy healthy will quickly become one of your favorite parts of being your family’s head chef.