There are many things I love about fall (football games, the weather and boots, to name a few), but there is one thing that I consider to be the quintessential element to the perfect fall: pumpkin. Whether they’re being used as decoration or as the scene-stealing ingredient in food and beverages, pumpkins announce that the most colorful (and, in my opinion, the most wonderful) season of the year is in full swing.
Every year, I gleefully purchase a half-dozen cans of pumpkin, dreaming all the way home about my big plans to make pies, cookies and other pumkin-y delights. And every year, I maybe use one or two of these cans because, you know, even the best made plans can fray when life gets too busy (or I remind myself that I just don’t have it in me to make a pumpkin pie). As a result, I have a small stockpile of cans of pumpkin, a few of which expire and are thrown away every year. Since I resolved in 2012 to stop being so wasteful, I decided to finally use these cans of pumpkin. And why not use them in late winter / early spring? I love the flavor of pumpkin, any time of year.
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my husband and I did, and I really hope that you get as excited as I did when I realized that pumpkin can be eaten every meal of the day (including breakfast) and used in much more than desserts.
1. Start your day off right with pumpkin oatmeal. De-lish.
2. Two ingredient pumpkin cake. Desserts don’t come much simpler than that.
3. Pumpkin + chili = I’m making this all the time.
4. And finally, a Bowers original: one-step pumpkin cream cheese schmear. I think this rivals Einstein Bagel’s version (but I might be biased).
– 8 oz. package of light cream cheese
– 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
– 2 Tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
– 2 Tbsp. skim milk
– 1 tsp. nutmeg
– 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
– 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whip until cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps.
2. Optional – put on toasted bagel or crusty bread. Eating straight from the bowl is also acceptable.