Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pumpkin: Naughty and Nice

Happy Autumn Equinox!!! Or Mabon or Harvest Home or just plain Fall! Whatever you call it, Wednesday is the official end of summer and the beginning of the cooler, harvest season. I'll miss the 100-degree temps of summer (seriously, I love the heat!), the crazy humidity, and the comfy flip-flops.

I often view Fall as a prelude to the hellish Winter ahead. But I'm trying to learn to love this season for what it is, rather than spending the whole Autumn dreading the next season. It's this whole "live in the now" thing I'm trying to do. One way I can remember to appreciate Fall is through through the bounty of Fall produce, like hard squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. I only allow myself to cook pumpkin in the Fall and Winter so it remains a special treat.

Tonight, I had pumpkin two ways — one super-healthy and one sorta-sinful. Let's start with sinful first, shall we? Check out these Vanilla Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream:

These are definitely going in the cookbook, so I can't divulge the recipe. But the frosting contains pureed pumpkin courtesy of my friend Lindsay, who gave me several containers that she'd cooked down from a whole pumpkin and then frozen last season. Of course, canned pumpkin puree works perfectly here as well.

The cupcakes were delicious, but if you're looking for a healthier way to get your pumpkin fix, check out this creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

I had some leftover pureed pumpkin from the cupcake frosting, so I tossed it into the blender with a frozen banana and some other stuff and voila! Instant (and healthy) pumpkin pie in a glass. I'm posting the easy-peasy recipe below. Hope y'all have a Happy Equinox! I won't be posting on Wednesday night because I've got a bad-ass party (Best of Memphis party! Holla!) to attend, but I'll return on Thursday.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
----------------------------
1 frozen banana, broken into about 5 small pieces

1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup soymilk

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp. hemp protein powder (I used Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein)

Dash of cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cloves


Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend. Enjoy.

28 comments:

Kristen's Raw said...

Both sound terrifically yummy!

Happy Fall,
Kristen

Erin said...

I'm sooooooo looking forward to pumpkin season! I totally need to make a smoothie like that.

Vegan Valerie said...

Oh! Cute cupcake!
You really know how to draw a crowd, Bianca! :)

The Spooky Vegan said...

Fall is my favorite season and I adore pumpkin anything and everything!

Both sound yummy, but I'll definitely have to try the pumpkin pie smoothie!

Ninja Vegana said...

These are some delicious ideas for Halloween!:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic website, I hadn't noticed vegancrunk.blogspot.com previously in my searches!
Carry on the great work!

Kiersten said...

As much as I love the summer (I love the heat too), I am looking forward to Fall. The weather doesn't bother me too much, since it's usually not that cold here. Plus I love the fall holidays and of course, the fall foods!

Your cupcakes sound delicious. I can't wait to try your pumpkin buttercream recipe.

Rick said...

it's pumpkin time at our place too...and just last night we baked sweet potatoes and topped them with Artisana coconut butter, nutmeg and cinnamon....ZOMG to die for!

Dianne said...

I just had pumpkin oatmeal for the first time; now I have to try the smoothie!

lizlivingvegan said...

I was finally able to find pumpkin in the grocery store yesterday!!! I'm so excited to try some new pumpkin recipes :)

Helen said...

cool glass. Sooooooo ready for FALL. :-D

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I love pumpkin pie smoothies! Yours looks super delicious. I'll have to try it!

I love the look of those cupcakes. Such beautiful piping, and the liners are adorable! I need some fall-themed liners...

Eric said...

so excited for pumpkin season!

Leslie R. said...

Yum- a pumpkin smoothie sounds great!

Michelle said...

Since I am still in my first year of being a vegan, I am so exicted about the fall. I have never been a big fan of pumpkin or the fall squash, but I believe all that is about to change.
BTW...Your cheeze "Eggs" are fantastic. I made it last night for supper...it is now my fav!

Ali - YumVeggieBurger said...

mmm I am definitely craving pumpkin-flavored things after reading this...

my next smoothie will absolutely have pumpkin in it, and I can't wait for the cupcake recipe! :)

Sharan said...

That sounds amazing! This might be a nice change from my usual strawberry banana smoothie!

Great way to welcome the season!

http://totefullofveggies.blogspot.com

sundaegirl108 said...

I love the heat and I too usually look at the cooler weather of autumn as a foreshadowing of what's to come (i.e. the hellish NYC winter). I was thinking the same thing this year ... that I need to learn to appreciate the seasons this year and live in the now. Good for you! That pumkin smoothie looks amazing. I'm definitely going to have to try that!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Yay Pumpkin! It's popping up in farmers markets here, but it's called Kurbis.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Pumpkin pie smoothie! Sounds awesome.

Anonymous said...

do you think this smoothie can still be made without the protein powder??

Theresa said...

Happy equinox! I've definitely noticed the days getting longer recently (since, you know, it's spring here).

Gena said...

WE're on the same page! I made a bnut squash smoothie on Sunday and can't stop drinking it!

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

Did you wash down the cupcake with the smoothie?

jodye @ 'scend food said...

Seriously? How dare you tempt me like this! Kidding, that cupcake looks awesome and the smoothie looks even better! Yay for fall, I am so into everything pumpkin right now and tomorrow's breakfast is most certainly going to include a blender and a certain orange squash

Bianca said...

Hey anonymous, you could certainly make the smoothie without protein powder. I only add it because I drink smoothies before workouts and I find they keep my fuller longer than smoothies without protein. I hate getting hungry in the middle of a workout.

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

mmmm I make this kind of smoothie too. I just use pumpkin pie spice...I'm lazy :)

LeLa said...

I really plan to make these during Halloween. Thanks!