Have you noticed that pumpkins are everywhere this year? They are spilling from large boxes in market storefronts. They are stacked high, flanking entrances of all kinds -- gas stations, pharmacies, preschools. Have my eyes been wide shut to this pumpkin invasion in previous years or is this year truly the year of the pumpkin? I sure don't know, but what I do know is that I've been bit. I've already bought my own fair share of pumpkins this season. We're all turning orange now, thanks a lot carotenosis.
A few years ago, I began making this pumpkin cheesecake. (Try it if you can tolerate it; it's absolutely, positively sinful.) And I left a comment on the recipe explaining how much my family loved eating this for dessert on Thanksgiving. Subsequent comments from other readers could best be summarized by the following: How in the hell can you use canned pumpkin? It's so disgusting. Rats pee in it.
I was mortified. How did they know if rats peed in canned pumpkin? I was left wondering: Is there some unspoken thread of common knowledge that states rats actively seek out canned pumpkin for the sole purpose of peeing in it? I looked on the back of my can of Libby pumpkin and read the ingredients: pumpkin. Hmph. It said nothing about rats peeing in it. So there.
Quite honestly, the thought of roasting my own pumpkin at that point in my life seemed so insane that I quickly pushed all negative thoughts out of mind with a wave of my hand. Which is why it's so funny that now I only roast my own pumpkins. I use canned pumpkin in a pinch (but, I'll be damned, if I don't always think about rats peeing in it). But I didn't succumb to peer pressure; instead, I started roasting pumpkins because it's so dang easy.
Slow Cooker Roasted Pumpkin
Makes about 4 cups
2 sugar pumpkins
Place in slow cooker with 1 cup of water. Turn on low for about 3 - 4 hours or until a fork can pierce the skin easily.
Remove from slow cooker and when cool enough to handle, slice in half.
Discard (or dry and roast seeds) and scoop flesh from the inside. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
See I told you it was easy. Now what to do with all of that pumpkin? Duh. Gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free pumpkin pecan bars. Of course! These are so good for you, breakfast is probably in order...
Pumpkin Pecan Bars
Makes 16 bars
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 recipe candied pecans, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs through coconut palm sugar. Add almond flour through baking soda. Mix well.
Add 3/4 cup candied pecans and mix well. Pour into the prepared dish, smooth the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup pecans.
Place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a the center is pretty much set. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
These are pure pumpkin deliciousness and they are so moist they almost fall apart. I was tempted to put this is a bowl, microwave it and top it with a little vanilla ice cream, but you can't really call it breakfast then, right?
Nutrition Information Per Bar: Calories 139; Total Fat 9g; Total Carb 13g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 9g; Protein 3
*Nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe calculator tool.
Eat Yourself Skinny: Pumpkin Palooza
CSI Project Fall Food Challenge