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This Week's Healthy Holiday Recipes

Meal 1

ROASTED PUMPKIN APPLE SOUP

https://aseasyasapplepie.com/roasted-pumpkin-apple-soup/

prep time:

10 MINS

cook time:

40 MINS

total time:

50 MINS

author: AS EASY AS APPLE PIE

course: SOUP

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup - Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and ready to eat in just under 1 hour!

INGREDIENTS

450 grams (1 lb.) pumpkin

1 Granny Smith apple cored, and quartered

1 medium onion quartered

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne more to taste

300 ml (1¼ cup) vegetable stock

freshly ground black pepper to taste

GARNISH:

pomegranate arils

pumpkin seeds

fresh parsley finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (392 degrees F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the pumpkin in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Then, slice each pumpkin half in half again to make quarters and place, cut-side up, on a baking tray, along with the onion.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 20 minutes, then add the garlic and apple, flip the pumpkin cut side down and roast for another for 20 minutes, or until the flesh is soft.

Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin (discarding the skin) and transfer to a high-speed blender along with the apple, onion, garlic (remove the skins), cayenne, vegetable stock.

Blend on high for 2 minutes, or until silky smooth.

If it's too thick, add a bit of vegetable stock to thin it out and blend again. Taste and adjust seasonings.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with pomegranate arils, pumpkin seeds, fresh parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve immediately

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month

NOTES

*Serves 2 as a main (1 1/2 cup each serving ) or 3 as a side (1 cup each serving)

*Nutrition facts are for 1 cup of soup

© as easy as Apple Pie. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Calories: 116, Fat: 4.8g, Saturated Fat: 0.7g, Sodium: 395mg, Carbohydrates: 19.9g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10.4g, Protein: 2g

BROCCOLI KALE SALAD WITH LEMON DRESSING

https://peasandcrayons.com/2019/01/kale-salad.html

This scrumptious salad is fresh, delicious, and totally make-ahead so feel free to prep this bad boy the night before and pack it along in lunches the next day if you’d like!

This easy kale salad features fresh veggies and a super simple homemade lemon dressing, making it perfect as a healthy side dish or light lunch!

PREP TIME 20 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME 20 MINUTES

SERVINGS 4 SERVINGS

CALORIES 334 KCAL

AUTHOR JENN LAUGHLIN - PEAS AND CRAYONS

Ingredients

5 cups chopped kale

1-2 tsp olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

2 cups chopped broccoli

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4-1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup cranberries

LEMON DRESSING

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp sweetener of choice (honey, agave, sugar, etc...)

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

1/4-1/2 cup cheese (cheddar, feta, or goat cheese)

1-2 tsp poppy seeds

extra veggies

Instructions

First make your dressing by combining ingredients above in a lidded mason jar then shake well to emulsify. Dip a kale leaf in the dressing and adjust sweetener, salt, and pepper to taste. You can make this dressing as sweet or tart as your heart desires! I like mine a bit tart and even add a little lemon zest to the dressing. To reduce tartness, simply add a little extra sweetness, to taste.

Next massage your chopped kale with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Rub with your fingers until leaves begin to darken and tenderize. This makes it taste great and gives the kale a silky texture!

In a large bowl, combine massaged kale, broccoli, almonds, cheese, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds, cranberries.

Shake your dressing once more and pour about 1/3 of the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat and add extra dressing, to taste. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Skipping the optional cheese will make this salad both vegan and paleo. Nix the dried fruit and use a compliant sweetener for the dressing and it'll also be low-carb and keto friendly. Do both and you've got yourself some whole 30 approved vegetarian eats. Woot!

Nutrition Facts below are an estimate gathered using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Values below calculated for both dressing and salad but do not include optional extras. Adjust as needed based on sweetener of choice and extras added and enjoy!

NUTRITION FACTS

AMOUNT PER SERVING

CALORIES 334 CALORIES FROM FAT 243

% DAILY VALUE*

FAT 27G42%

SATURATED FAT 2G13%

SODIUM 315MG14%

POTASSIUM 744MG21%

CARBOHYDRATES 18G6%

FIBER 4G17%

SUGAR 2G2%

PROTEIN 9G18%

VITAMIN A 9985IU200%

VITAMIN C 146.3MG177%

CALCIUM 192MG19%

IRON 2.6MG14%

Raspberry Refresher

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/raspberry-refresher/

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 20 min. + chilling

Ingredients

8 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed

1-1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup cider vinegar

2-1/2 cups cold water, divided

2 liters ginger ale, chilled

Directions

In a large saucepan, crush the berries. Stir in sugar, vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain to remove seeds; refrigerate. Just before serving, stir in ginger ale and remaining water. Serve over ice.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 169 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 11mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 5g fiber), 1g protein.

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ 17.25 ounce package puff pastry (1 sheet)

1 egg white, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Directions

Combine apple and/or pear slices and lemon juice in mixing bowl. Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add to fruit mixture, toss to coat. Set aside.

Roll out puff pastry into a 14-inch square. Gently ease rolled pastry into a 10- to 11-inch tart pan, lightly pressing pastry to sides of tart pan and leaving remaining pastry hanging over edge of pan. Brush bottom with beaten egg white. Transfer fruit into pastry-lined tart pan. Dot with butter or margarine. Fold edges of pastry over toward center to partially cover fruit.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

169 calories, (1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 93 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Meal 2

Kale and Quinoa Salad Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Apples and Pecans

https://www.floatingkitchen.net/kale-and-quinoa-salad-stuffed-portobello-mushrooms-with-apples-and-pecans/

Yield: Makes 6 mushrooms

Ingredients

For the Stuffed Mushrooms

1 cup water

1/2 cup quinoa

6 Portobello mushrooms

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

2 cups loosely packed baby kale leaves

1 small red apple, cored and chopped

1/4 cup pecans

For the Dressing

2 tablespoons fresh apple cider

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. maple syrup

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the quinoa and turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook the quinoa until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then cover the saucepan and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and then place a baking rack over top. Remove and discard the stems from the Portobello mushrooms. Using a spoon, scrape out and discard the gills. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Then brush both sides with the extra-virgin olive oil. Place the mushrooms on the baking rack gill side down. Then season the tops with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes. The mushrooms should be soft, but still firm enough to hold their shape. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.

Add the cooked quinoa, kale, chopped apple and pecans to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and toss gently until everything is well coated. Flip the mushrooms over so the gill side is facing up. Then fill each mushroom with some of the salad mixture. Serve immediately.

Autumn Fruit Salad

https://www.kitchentreaty.com/autumn-fruit-salad-with-cinnamon-greek-yogurt-dressing/

PREP: 15 MINUTES

TOTAL: 15 MINUTES

Crisp apples, sweet pears, and juicy grapes combined with sweet-spiced, creamy dressing – and then sprinkled with a few chopped pecans for crunch. Oh, happy harvest!

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium Bartlett pears (or other ripe but firm pears), diced

2 medium apples (a fresh, crisp variety like honeycrisp, cripps, or pink lady is best), diced

1 cup red grapes, halved

1/3 cup Greek yogurt (can substitute your favorite plain or vanilla non-dairy yogurt – see notes)

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from the zested lemon)

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (can substitute honey)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/3 cup pecans*, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Place pears, apples, and grapes in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Set aside.

To a small bowl, add the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Use a wire whisk to blend well.

Drizzle dressing over the fruit. Toss gently until fruit is coated. Scoop into bowls and sprinkle with pecans. Serve immediately.

*If you prefer to make this without the pecans, just leave them off – it’s still plenty delicious without them.

DAIRY-FREE OPTION:

Use your favorite non-dairy yogurt, either plain or vanilla. Depending on how sweet your non-dairy yogurt is, you may want to adjust the sweetener.

VEGAN OPTION:

Follow the dairy-free option and choose pure maple syrup for the sweetener.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS:

The salad tends to get a little watery if it sits for long, so I recommend keeping the dressing and the salad separate until right before serving. Also, if you cut your fruit far ahead of time, try tossing it with a little fresh lemon juice to help keep it from browning.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 4-6 servings, Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe

Roasted Broccoli and Carrots

https://www.foxvalleyfoodie.com/roasted-broccoli-and-carrots/

Deep charred flavor permeates each bite of this roasted broccoli and carrots side dish. It is incredibly simple to prepare and a sure favorite!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Total Time30 mins

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Keyword: roasted broccoli, roasted carrots, side dish

Servings: 4

Calories: 119

Author: Fox Valley Foodie

Ingredient

1 pound Broccoli Florets

3 medium Carrots (chopped into 3/4" slices)

2 tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl toss broccoli florets and carrots with olive oil salt and pepper.

Pour vegetables evenly onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Broccoli will be charred and carrots will be tender-crisp.

Optional: If you prefer carrots to be more tender put them into the oven 10 minutes prior to adding the broccoli florets

Vegan Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

https://againstallgrain.com/2011/11/03/vegan-pumpkin-banana-smoothie/

AUTHOR: Danielle Walker - AgainstAllGrain.com SERVES: 1

COOK TIME: 10 mins TOTAL TIME: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 cup crushed ice

1/2 frozen banana

1 teaspoon finely ground flaxseed

1/3 cup pumpkin puree (fresh is best, but canned will work)

1-1/2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup (honey for SCD)

1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger

INSTRUCTIONS:

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or vitamix!

Enjoy immediately!

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!

Meal 3

Baked Portobello Mushrooms

These Baked Portobello Mushrooms are marinated in an easy gluten-free sauce and are oven roasted in just 30 minutes. Perfect as a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving main course!

https://detoxinista.com/baked-portobello-mushrooms-vegetarian-dinner/

Prep Time

15 mins

Cook Time

30 mins

Total Time

45 mins

COURSE: MAIN COURSE

CUISINE: AMERICAN

KEYWORD: BAKED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM

SERVINGS:

CALORIES: 36 KCAL

AUTHOR: MEGAN GILMORE

Ingredients

3 portobello mushrooms (stems removed)

3 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove , minced

1 teaspoon fresh sage , minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

Use a towel to gently rub the portobello mushrooms to help remove any dirt, then arrange them in a glass baking side, with the stem-side facing up.

In a small bowl, stir together the tamari, vinegar, garlic, sage, and thyme. Use a spoon to pour the mixture over the 3 mushrooms, then use your hands to rub the sauce on the outside of the mushrooms, too. (Alternatively, you could put the mushrooms in a sealed container and gently shake them to coat them in the marinade, too.)

Let the mushrooms marinate for 15 minutes, while your oven preheats to 400ºF.

Bake the marinated mushrooms for 15 minutes, then use a spatula to flip them over and bake for an additional 15 minutes. It doesn't matter which side you bake first, but I think they look prettier for serving when you start with the stem-side up, then flip them over so the mushroom cap is nice and golden.

Serve warm with your favorite side dishes and an extra sprinkling of fresh sage or thyme for presentation. Leftover mushrooms can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Per Serving: Calories: 36,Carbohydrates: 5, Protein: 3, Fiber: 1, Fat: 0

Recipe Notes:

If you can’t tolerate soy, try using coconut aminos as a soy-free substitute for the tamari. If you don’t have issues with gluten, you can also use regular soy sauce instead of the tamari.

Autumn Apple and Kale Salad with Parmesan and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

https://simplebites.net/autumn-apple-and-kale-salad-with-parmesan-and-roasted-pumpkin-seeds/

A simple garden salad, November style. Don't forget to massage the kale.

Course: Salads

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4 people

Author: Aimee

Ingredients

1 medium bunch curly kale

3 Tablespoons garlic-herb vinaigrette

2 small apples

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Wash the kale and pat it dry with a clean tea towel. Tear it off the stalks and discard the stalks.

Tear or chop the kale into bite-sized pieces and add it to a big bowl. Add a little vinaigrette and massage the kale with both hands until it begins to break down and feel tender.

Wash and chop the apples, then toss them in with the kale. Toss with remaining vinaigrette.

Sprinkle in the cheese, pumpkin seeds and parsley. Toss and serve at once.

Notes

Be sure to add the seeds in last so that they maintain their crunch.

PUMPKIN APPLE BANANA MUFFINS {VEGAN}

http://www.foodielovesfitness.com/2016/09/14/pumpkin-apple-banana-muffins-vegan/

Author: Foodie Loves Fitness

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 35 mins

Serves: 12

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dry old fashioned oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup pure pumpkin

1 brown banana, mashed

2 cups apple, peeled & chopped (about 4 small apples/2 larger ones)

½ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup + 2 TBSP cashew milk (or your favorite nut milk)

½ TBSP baking powder

1 TSP cinnamon

1 TSP vanilla extract

¼ TSP salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin cups.

Place the oats in a food processor and pulse until it forms an oat flour.

Add in the whole wheat flour, cinnamon and salt, and pulse again. Add in the pumpkin, banana, milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and baking powder. Pulse again just until combined.

Remove the bowl from the processor bottom, and remove the blade from the bowl. Slowly add in the chopped apple and mix together with a spoon.

Evenly spoon the batter into the muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center of the muffins comes out clean with a toothpick.

Allow to slightly cool, then enjoy!

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving size: 1 muffin, Calories: 130, Fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Sugar: 13 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 3 g

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse

https://www.feastingonfruit.com/vegan-pumpkin-mousse/

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Category: desserts

Method: blender

Cuisine: american

Description

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse that is almost TOO easy to make and definitely too easy to eat. Just 6 ingredients and a blender, and you have the dreamiest fall dessert!

Ingredients

1 cup (225g) full fat coconut yogurt or coconut cream*

1/2 cup (125g) pumpkin puree

1/4 cup (80g) maple syrup

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Add all ingredients to the Blender.

Blend on medium-high speed until smooth, using the tamper or stopping to stir as necessary. Do not over blend or it will become too thin.

Serve immediately or chill for 1-2 hours for a thicker texture.

Top with coconut whipped cream, chopped pecans, and a caramel drizzle. Enjoy!

Keep leftovers in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 serving

Calories: 318

Sugar: 16g

Fat: 24g

Saturated Fat: 22g

Carbohydrates: 24g

Fiber: 4g

Protein: 3g

Vegan Pumpkin Pie a Must for Thanksgiving.

https://www.connoisseurusveg.com/vegan-pumpkin-pie/#wprm-recipe-container-17076

The best pumpkin pie you ever ate, and it just happens to be vegan! This luscious pie is rich, custardy, and packed with pumpkin spice flavor. A must for your holiday table.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings 8

Calories 340 kcal

Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

1 homemade vegan pie crust (or a store-bought one)

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1/3 cup organic brown sugar

1/3 cup organic white sugar

3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Use a knife to poke a few holes in the bottom of the pie crust.

Line the inside of the crust with a sheet of parchment paper, then fill it with pie weights, dried beans, or rice.

Place the crust into the oven and bake it for 15 minutes.

While the crust bakes, place the pumpkin, brown sugar, white sugar, coconut milk, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Use an electric mixer to beat the mixture until fully blended, smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

When the crust has finished baking, pour the pumpkin mixture into it and smooth out the top with a spatula.

Place the pie into the oven and turn the temperature down to 350°.

Bake the pie until the center is just set, about 50 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely before cutting.

Serve with whipped coconut cream or vegan vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Amount Per Serving (1 slice (1/8 of pie))

Calories 340Calories from Fat 175

% Daily Value*

Fat 19.4g30%

Saturated Fat 16.6g83%

Sodium 298mg12%

Potassium 97mg3%

Carbohydrates 40g13%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 16.1g18%

Protein 3.2g6%

Calcium 20mg2%

Iron 1.8mg10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie - from a Real Pumpkin, Not a Can!

Pumpkin pie made from a fresh pumpkin tastes so much better than from a can! Here's how to do it.

It is much easier than you think. This makes a light, fluffy pumpkin pie with a fresh, traditional pumpkin pie taste. I can assure you that this will be the best pumpkin pie you've ever made!

Directions for Making Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Yield: It really depends on the size of the pumpkin and the size of your pie plate. If you use a 6" to 8" pie pumpkin and a full deep dish 9" pie plate, then it should fill that pie to the brim and maybe have enough extra for either a small (4 inch) shallow pie (or a crustless pie - see step 11). Some people manage to make 2 full pies, especially if they use shallow pie plates and/or 8 inch pie plates.

Ingredients and Equipment

Equipment

  • A sharp, large serrated knife

  • an ice cream scoop

  • a large microwaveable bowl or large pot

  • 1 large deep-dish pie plate and pie crust (Click here for illustrated pie crust instructions! they will open in a new window) - or two small pie plates and crusts

Ingredients

  • a pie pumpkin (see step 1)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • one half teaspoon ground ginger

  • one half teaspoon salt (optional, I don't use any)

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 cups pumpkin glop (ok... "sieved, cooked pumpkin")

  • 1.5 cans (12oz each) of evaporated milk (I use the nonfat version)

Recipe and Directions

Yield: One 9-inch deep dish pie or two 8-inch shallow pies

Step 1 - Get your pie pumpkin

"Pie pumpkins" are smaller, sweeter, less grainy textured pumpkins than the usual jack-o-lantern types. One 8" pie pumpkin usually makes one 9 inch pie!

Step 2 - Prepare the pumpkin for cooking

Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water, no soap.

Cut the pumpkin in half. A serrated knife and a sawing motion works best - a smooth knife is more likely to slip and hurt you! A visitor suggests using a hand saw.

Step 3 - Scoop out the seeds...

And scrape the insides. You want to get out that stringy, dangly stuff that coats the inside surface. I find a heavy ice cream scoop works great for this.

Note: SAVE THE SEEDS:

The seeds can be used either to plant pumpkins next year, or roasted to eat this year! Place them in a bowl of water and rub them between your hands. then pick out the orange buts (throw that away) and drain off the water. Spread them out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry and they're ready to save for next year's planting or roast. Click here for roasting instructions! (opens in a new window)

Step 4 - Cooking the pumpkin

There are several ways to cook the pumpkin; just choose use your preferred method. Most people have microwaves and a stove, so I'll describe both of those methods here. But others make good arguments in favor of using a pressure cooker or baking in the oven. At the end of this document, I’ve included alternative instructions to replace step 4, if you’d rather use a different method.

Put it in a microwaveable bowl

Remove the stem, and put the pumpkin into a microwaveable. You may need to cut the pumpkin further to make it fit. The fewer the number of pieces, the easier it will to scoop out the cooked pumpkin afterwards.

Put a couple of inches of water in the bowl, cover it, and put in the microwave.

You can also cook it on the stovetop; I use a double pot steamer, but you could use an ordinary large pot with a steamer basket inside it!:

Stovetop steaming – Place your steaming basket or grid in the bottom of a large pot. Put enough water so it won’t boil dry in 20 minutes, and yet is not so high that the pumpkin is touching the water level. You may need to add more water during the cooking. Add the pumpkin prepared in step 3, and get the steamer going. The cooking time is only between 8 and 12 minutes, depending on the range (gas or electric), and the pumpkin literally falls off the skin.

Step 5 - Cook the pumpkin until soft

Either way, cook for 15 minutes on high, check to see if it is soft, then repeat in smaller increments of time until it is soft enough to scoop the innards out. Normally it takes 20 or 30 minutes in total.

Step 6 - Scoop out the cooked pumpkin

Whether you cook the pumpkin on the stove, microwave, or even the oven, once it is cooked until it is soft, it is easy to scoop out the guts with a broad, smooth spoon, (such as a tablespoon). Use the spoon to gently lift and scoop the cooked pumpkin out of the skin. It should separate easily an in fairly large chucks, if the pumpkin is cooked enough.

Many times the skin or rind will simply lift off with your fingers (see the photo at left) . I'll bet you didn't realize making your own pumpkin puree was this easy!

Step 7 - Puree the pumpkin

To get a nice, smooth consistency, I use a Pillsbury hand blender. By blending it, you give the pie a smooth, satiny texture; rather than the rough graininess that is typical of cooked squashes.

A regular blender works, too (unless you made a few frozen daiquiris and drank them first..). Or a food processor or even just a hand mixer with time and patience.

With the hand blender, it just takes 2 or 3 minutes!

Step 8 - Done with the pumpkin!

The pumpkin is now cooked and ready for the pie recipe. Get the frozen daiquiris out from step 7 and take a break! You may freeze the pie filling if not using right away.

Step 9 - Make the pie crust

Yes, I know there are ready-made pie crusts in the frozen section at the store, but they really are bland and doughy. A flaky crust is easy to make! Again, note that unless you use large, deep dish pie plates, you may have enough for 2 pies.

It is also time to start preheating the oven. Turn it on and set it to 425 F (210 C, for those in Europe)

Directions for Making a Flakey Pie Crust - Easily!

Ingredients and Equipment
  • 1.5 cups flour - plain flour, not self-rising. I use whole wheat flour, fresh ground at the store while I wait. You'll notice the darker color of the crust in the photos, since it is whole wheat.

  • 1/3 cup cold water - cold is the key!

  • 3/4 to 1 cup CHILLED vegetable shortening - I use the trans-fat free version of Crisco, you may prefer butter or margarine. It's always a controversial subject as to which fat is the least unhealthy: natural butter, or a man-made alternative.

Note that until recently, Crisco shortening contained a lot of trans fats. They now have a new version, in a green can, that has 0 grams of trans fats. If you are the UK, there is something called Trex vegetable fat in the refrigerated section of the supermarket near the butter. I'm told it a good substitute for Crisco.

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Mix the ingredients

Mix the flour and shortening first.

Step 2 - Mix and add water as needed

then sprinkle in the water, just enough to make a good dough consistency. Note that flour varies considerably in moisture content, so add the water slowly, mixing, and only add just enough to make a dough that will hold together and make pea sized granules.

Step 3 - Roll out the dough

I use a pie crust bag (a circular plastic bag that zips up around the edge, but two pieces of waxed paper will work)

Roll it out to an even thickness, and just an inch or two wider than your pie pan. My crusts are about 1/8 inch thick. If the dough has warmed up to room temperature, pop it in the fridge for half an hour - the cold helps with making it flakey!

Step 4 - Put in the pie pan and shape!

Place the dough into the pie pan. Don't worry if it breaks. You can easily fix that.

Press the dough into the pan, seal any broken areas, and shape the top edge in any pattern you like; just for appearance's sake.

It's now ready for you to add the pie ingredients and pop in the oven! Keep the pie crust in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill it and pop it into the oven!

Step 5 - Mix the pie contents

All the hard work is behind you! Here's where it gets really easy. If you start with a fresh 8" pie pumpkin, you will get about 3 cups of cooked, mashed pumpkin. The right amount of ingredients for this is as follows:

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • one half teaspoon ground ginger

  • one half teaspoon salt (optional, I don't use any)

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 cups pumpkin glop (ok... "sieved, cooked pumpkin")

  • 1.5 cans (12oz each) of evaporated milk (I use the nonfat version)

Mix well using a hand blender or mixer.

Notes: The vast majority of people tell me this is the best pumpkin pie they've ever had. It's light and fluffy - however... if you want a heavy, more dense pie, use 3 eggs instead of 4 and 1 can of evaporated milk instead of 1.5)

Step 6 - Pour into the pie crust

I like a deep, full pie, so I fill it right up to about one quarter to one half inch from the very top.

Don't be surprised if the mixture is very runny! It may start as a soupy liquid, but it will firm up nicely in the oven! Note: the pie crust is brown because I used whole wheat flour! Tastes the same but is healthier.

TIP: What do you do if you end up with more filling than will fit in your pie crust(s)? Easy! Of course, you can make another, smaller pie crust and fill a small pie pan... or just grease any baking dish, of a size that the extra filling will fill to a depth of about 2 inches (see the photo at right), and pour the extra filling in.. then bake it. It will be a crustless pumpkin pie that kids especially love!

Step 7 - Bake the pie

Bake at 425 F (210 C ) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 F ( 175 C ) and bake another 45 to 60 minutes, until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Here is the finished pie, right out of the oven:

I use a blunt table knife to test the pie. The one at left has already been stuck in the pie, and you see it comes out pretty clean, when the pie is done.

Step 8 - Cool the pie

And enjoy! Warm or chilled, with whipped cream , ice cream or nothing at all - it's great!

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