Pumpkin Debut

I enjoyed my last piece of seasonal watermelon this week…And then I welcomed pumpkin into my kitchen with open arms.

We had the first meeting of Student Advocates for Nutrition this week, a group that I co-chair, and I knew I needed to make something amazing to lure in potential new members.  I can always count on pumpkin to bring in the masses, so I found this recipe and healthified it just a tiny bit.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Yields: 3 dozen cookies
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour + 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ stick of butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 ¼ cups pureed pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1.5 tablespoons almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract together.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix to combine.
  5. Form dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until tops of cookies are slightly browned.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  8. Prepare glaze by mixing all ingredients together, adding additional milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.
  9. Drizzle glaze on cookies with a fork.

Very tasty! The combination of autumn spices really made the pumpkin flavor in these cookies pop.  I cut the butter in this recipe by half, and the texture really wasn’t affected due to the large amount of pumpkin I used.  The modifications that I made to the original recipe still don’t necessarily classify these cookies as healthy, but I think they are a pretty fabulous “sometimes” treat.  They were a big hit at SAN, too!

I purchased a monster-sized can of pumpkin and had plenty of leftover pumpkin puree, so I decided to wash down my pumpkin cookies with a pumpkin smoothie. Perfect for these days that aren’t quite summer and not yet fall.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Serves 1
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon honey
1 graham cracker, crumbled
3 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency.
  2. Add additional spices and sweetener to taste.

I was sad to finish this smoothie.  The creaminess reminded me of my favorite ice cream ever, Publix Premium Pumpkin Pie—it has chunks of crust and whipped cream laced throughout the carton!  I can’t wait to buy a container when I visit South Carolina in a few weeks for fall break, but my pumpkin smoothie was a good teaser to tide me over. And on a side note, I really miss grocery shopping in the south. My Publix in Columbia seasoned and broiled my salmon, and someone always brought my cart out to my car. It’s fend for yourself here at Meijer in Ann Arbor…

Have a great weekend and introduce some pumpkin to your life! You know you want the heavenly trifecta of fiber, vitamin A, and deliciousness that pumpkin provides.

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1 Response to Pumpkin Debut

  1. Ashley says:

    I love the idea of a pumpkin smoothie!! I looked for the pumpkin pie icecream at Publix yesterday and they were out 😦 Obviously they dont realize how much people LOVE that stuff!!!

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