Pumpkin spice minus the latte

Pumpkin spice minus the latte

Yep, it’s the pumpkin time of year. Lattes, pies, scones, decorations…you name it.

Now while I do love a good pumpkin pie (it’s my favourite kind behind blackberry) and I’ve fancied scones before, I’m really not a latte person. So I seek out other easy way to make the most of this seasonal squash, and the result of that is the list below. Four ways to enjoy pumpkin, whether it be with fresh, canned or even just the seeds.

Toasted pumpkin seeds

Did you know, the flavour of nuts and seeds increase tenfold when you toast them. There, now you know.

Okay this one is the easiest. You just turn your oven on to 375°, spread the seeds out on a baking sheet, throw on some spices (or leave them plain, they’re good plain too) and put them in the oven for about 7-10 minutes. It’s pretty critical that you watch them to avoid burning, and maybe give ‘em a stir half-way through.

Now for the super-duper fun part! When you remove the baking sheet from the oven, the pumpkin seeds start to POP! Just like when you add milk to Rice Krispie cereal :)

Pumpkin pie oatmeal

The best, most cozy little bowl of goodness out there.

For this, you prepare oatmeal on the stove like you normally would, but with the addition of a few extra ingredients. 1) pumpkin purée (not filling, puréeeee) 2) pumpkin pie spice & cinnamon 3) maple syrup. Okay, here we go.

So add the oats, liquid (I like to use almond mylk, but you do you), pumpkin purée and spices to the pot. Maybe throw in a dash of salt too for good measure. Put it on the stove and cook as normal. Once it’s all done pour it into a bowl and drizzle on your maple syrup. I then recommend adding something like some walnuts or hemp seeds, but if smooth creaminess is what you want then leave it as is.

Pumpkin spice smoothie

…more like a smoothie bowl in my opinion because it’s that thicc.

So we want to start with what any good smoothie starts with; a frozen banana. Add that and some mylk (I would go for almond or a traditional cow’s in this scenario) to a blender and blend it up until you gt a good consistency going. The add your pumpkin purée. Not too much but enough to create a good, strong orange colour, and then a dash of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon just like with the oatmeal. Now add in a big ‘ol scoop of almond butter, maybe some hemp seeds, and if you really need it some maple syrup. Give it all one final blend and pour into a bowl.

I would personally top it all off with more almond butter, but that’s just me.

Warm pumpkin salad

This one requires a little more work, but I assure you it’s worth it.

Hack up your pumpkin (this could work with any squash actually) and throw it on a pan in the oven until it’s nice and roasted. The addition of olive oil, salt and pepper is highly recommended during this process. Then once it’s done in the oven, add it to a bowl with your preferred type of greens (I like a spinach and arugula mix) along with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Next you want to add your toppings; the toasted pumpkin seeds mentioned above work great. I also think a candied pecan and goat feta situation would be heavenly as well.

The versatility of pumpkin is very underrated in my opinion. Aside from being the star of a dish, it can also play a supporting role. Puréed pumpkin makes a great substitute for butter in baking, and because it has a neutral flavour you don’t taste it at all.

I could think of so many more ways to use it, but that’s enough pumpkin talk, so I’ll stop here and leave you with this cute pumpkin Pikachu ceramic tea light set that I randomly found while writing this post.

My scientific outfit formula

My scientific outfit formula

It's the little things

It's the little things