Pumpkin Spice Balls

We are well into October, but here in Bristol, we are being spoiled by beautiful weather this weekend. Walking around was so perfect and it certainly doesn’t feel like winter will be here soon. Taking advantage of the nice weather, I went to Zero Green in Bedminster, one of Bristol’s many plastic free shops. You bring your own containers, weigh, fill, then weigh again. The oats, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, date/raisins, and pulp are from this shop. They also feature almond, cashew, and oat mylk in glass bottles from a lovely company called O!Mylk. They often leave leftover nut pulp for customers to take for free! So I took about a cups worth and decided to make these Pumpkin Spice Balls. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond pulp (or desiccated almonds if you don’t have pulp)
  • 1/4 cup porridge oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped dates
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 5-6 tablespoons puréed pumpkin
  • Pumpkin seeds to coat

Place the pulp, oats, dates & raisins, chia seeds, and pumpkin spice in a bowl. The pulp is moist, so I found it best to mix together with a fork, working all the ingredients together as much as possible.

Once mixed, it should look a bit crumbly, as seen above.

Next, add the honey, nut butter, and pumpkin. Really stir it through so that all dry ingredients are well incorporated. If the mixture is too dry and not holding, you can add a bit more pumpkin. If it’s turned out too wet, just sprinkle on a bit more oats.

After rolling into a ball, I squished pumpkin seeds onto the outside. You really have to press them in as they don’t stick easily. Alternatively, you can drizzle the balls in chocolate or icing, then put the seeds on.

And there you have it, Pumpkin Spice Balls! They were super easy to make and would be a fun activity for little ones. There are also a lot of ways to adapt this recipe to your liking. You can always use maple syrup or golden syrup instead of honey. And if you like them sweeter, add more honey and slightly less pumpkin to bind. I think toasted pecans or chocolate chips would work really well in these treats. However you make them, this is a great way to create a healthy snack without producing much waste.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and hopefully you have all your ingredients in order. If not, there is still a bit of time. If you happen to have to cater for a vegan guest, this week’s recipe would make a great dish on your menu. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup cooked couscous
  • 1 tablespoon rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pecan pieces
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 butter nut squash, cut in half, seeded

Add the couscous and oats to a bowl.

Next add the pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, and raisins.

Add the honey and cinnamon to the mixture and combine well.

Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place in a baking dish and measure out the filling evenly into each half.

Place in the oven at 350 F / 180 C, on the lower rack (to avoid burning) for ~45 minutes.

And there you go, Stuffed Butternut Squash! These were delicious and not too sweet. The nuts gave it a savoury bit of flavour and the cinnamon made my kitchen smell so good! I highly recommend trying this, especially since it’s easy to customize and change the filling as you see fit.

Enjoy your week and watch out for the rain in the forecast. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup

November is finally here and Christmas is right around the corner. For me, that means there’s lots more baking to come, but I need a break from it at the moment. So, I decided this month will be about savoury things, and I’ll save the sugar for later. As I now have a hand blender, I thought I’d make a smooth Pumpkin & Butternut Squash soup. Here is what you’ll need:

2 tablespoons Olive oil

  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove/ 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 can (~2 cups/425 g) puréed pumpkin
  • 1 pound (~3 cups/500 g) cubed Butternut squash
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 chicken stock cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

First chop up the leeks, onions, celery, and butternut squash. I like to have all my ingredients ready to go before I switch on the oven.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Then add the leeks, onions, celery, and garlic. Cook 5-10 minutes, or until soft.

Once the veggies are cooked and soft, add the pumpkin and butternut squash.

Then add the water and stock cubes. If you’d like to make this vegan, just add vegetable stock.

Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then simmer for around 30 minutes, or until the squash is very soft.

Turn down the heat at this point. If you have a hand blender, you can then now make the soup smooth. You can also use a regular blender, or even a potato masher to smooth it up.

Lastly, add the sage and thyme. I tend to add dry spices at the end. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.

And there you have it, Pumpkin & Butternut Squash soup! This is healthy, tasty, and very filling. It’s full of fiber and vitamins, and is perfect for these cold, dark evenings.

You can enjoy it on its own, or you can add toppings such as pumpkin seeds or a bit of parmesan cheese. My husband cooked up some chorizo chunks to add to his soup which really added some amazing flavour. Try your hand at making this soup and you’ll have a very happy tummy, and lots of leftovers to boot! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

As you can see, I really like pumpkin, hence all the pumpkin recipes throughout October and November. It’s such a versatile gourd. It’s naturally sweet and full of fiber. It’s also a great substitute for butter in a lot of recipes, if you don’t mind the orange hue. So, I decided to try my hand at making paleo pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, I love carbs, but I also like to try new things. So, here is what you’ll need:

3 eggs, beaten

  • 2/3 cup (150 g) puréed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

First beat the eggs until smooth and yellow.

Next, add the pumpkin, almond milk, honey, and vanilla, mixing well.

You will then add the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Once the batter is thoroughly combined, heat up a greased pan and put a large dollop of the mixture in. I used a large cooking spoon which ended up giving me 6 like sized pancakes.

And there you have it, Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes!

Instead of syrup, I used some cranberry sauce I bought at the Bath Christmas market made by the company Victorian Kitchens.

It went really well with these pancakes, although maple syrup or whipped cream is nice too. These pancakes weren’t the easiest to make as they were a bit delicate, making them hard to turn over. Most likely because traditional flour was not used, hence, no gluten. I may add a bit of flour to help bind them next time. It was definitely worth a try making something different. The hardest part was finding the right temperature so they would cook without burning. I started at heat level 4 on my stove, then put it down to 3 if you’re wondering where to start. Hope you try making these pancakes this week! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Pumpkin Chia Pudding 

Do you feel that chill in the air? Autumn is well under way here in Bristol. But it’s still nice enough to spend time walking around the harborside, watching the world go by. On days like this, I try to get all my errands done before the weather gets worse. So, I like to have something easy and filling for breakfast. Cue pumpkin chia pudding. It’s super easy to make as long as you remember to prepare it the night before. Here is what you’ll need:

1 cup (215 g) puréed pumpkin

  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) almond milk (or any kind of milk or nut milk you like)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) whole chia seeds

In a medium sized bowl, add the pumpkin, milk, and spices. Mix very well until the spices are incorporated throughout the milk.

Next, add the chia seeds and stir until covered by the liquid. At this point, the chia seeds will begin to get sticky. Put the bowl into the fridge overnight (or at least 3 hours).

When it’s ready, it should have the consistency of a dairy pudding. Serve it up in a bowl and add whatever toppings you’d like. I love adding bananas, cocoa nibs, and sliced almonds with a light drizzle of honey.

And there you have it, Pumpkin Chia Pudding! This is a healthy, filling breakfast perfect for a quiet morning or hectic workday. If you want a thicker pudding, add more chia seeds, or less liquid. And there are endless topping combinations, so experiment until you find what you like.

However you enjoy it, this breakfast is a great way to have a nice serving of fruit and fiber. Have a great breakfast Bristol, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Autumn is in full swing, so I will carry on with the pumpkin recipes. I don’t know what it is, but I love pumpkin and look forward to it’s arrival every October. So for today’s recipe, I used a lot of pumpkin. Here is what you’ll need:

3 cups flour

  • 2 1/2 cups porridge oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups puréed pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

First, combine the flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice.

Next, beat the three eggs.

Then add the butter, sugars, and vanilla.

Once that is combined, add the 3 cups of pumpkin.

Next, combine the wet and dry bowls. Make sure your main bowl is quite large, unlike what I have here. The rest of my mixing bowls are on the other side of the Atlantic, so I’ll have to get them later.

Lastly, add the chocolate chips and mix them in evenly.

Spread the mixture in a greased or lined dish or tin. This is the largest I had, so they came out kinda thick. But if you have a larger tin where you can spread the mixture out more, you’ll end up with a thinner bar.

Heat your oven to 350 F / 180 C and bake for 25-35 minutes. I had it in for 35 as the size of my dish made for a thick bar.

When the time is up, take out and let your beautiful bake cool. Then cut up your creation into bars and enjoy every bit of pumpkin chocolate chip goodness! These bars are hearty and decadent with less fat than a traditional cookie tray bake. The whole thing only uses 1/3 cup of butter, and if you really wanted to, you can omit the butter completely and add more pumpkin instead!

I really hope you get the chance to bake these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bars. And right now, at least here in Bristol, Sainsburys have cans of puréed pumpkin for £1! Thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Pumpkin Pecan Cookies

October is finally here, and although the weather is crisp, it is absolutely beautiful outside today! I walked up park street and had the most delightful pumpkin spice tea latte at Bluebird Tea Company. So much flavour! I ended up buying some tea to take home, and thought what could I made that would accompany this cuppa? The answer is these cookies, here is what you’ll need:

1/2 cup (100 g) coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) white sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup (35 g) puréed pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; all spice works just as well.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 g) flour
  • 1 cup pecans

First, cream together the coconut oil and both sugars.

In a small bowl, beat one egg then add to the sugar mixture. It helps if the egg is room temperature.

Next, add the vanilla and pumpkin. Mix well, until smooth.

You will then add the salt, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda. Stir well until evenly distributed.

Next add the flour and pecans. I would suggest mixing in the flour first, then add the pecans (unlike what I did above).

Once the cookie dough comes together, place it into the fridge for an hour to chill. The dough needs to be cold, otherwise the cookies will be too flat.

Once chilled, arrange on a lined cookie sheet. As far as size, I used a cereal spoon and scooped up a heaping of dough. This resulted in cookies that were about 2 inches / 3-4 cm across when baked.

Preheat your oven to 350 F / 180 C and bake for 12-15 minutes.

After cooling, you will have a warm plateful of Pumpkin Pecan Cookies! These were the perfect treat after walking around the harbour side. I will say, if you’re not too big on strong pumpkin flavours, then you may like these as they tasted more of the spice. I think when I make these again, I may increase the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice a bit more. Now, if like me, you really like a strong pumpkin flavour, I may even add 2/3 cup pumpkin and only 1/4 cup coconut oil. Either way, the cookies will be awesome. My favourite part is pairing it will the spiced pumpkin pie tea I bought at Bluebird Tea Company up on park street. It really is a great way to welcome autumn! I hope you have fun making these as the leaves fall outside. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!