Daily Truth: “To everything there is a season.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
As I promised last week, this week I am going to post some pumpkin recipes that are easy and you can do with your kiddos.
I am not a great cook, nor do I always enjoy it. My sister – on the other- hand can make anything taste AMAZING! Needless to say, the easier, the shorter, the quicker, the better and these recipes meet that criteria!
I have found that one of the ways to encourage my kids to eat dinner is to have them help prepare the meal. Now, I don’t do this every time. My sanity won’t allow it. But every once in awhile, they do help and enjoy helping in the preparation of a meal.
This was the case with Pumpkin Chili. My youngest son was so proud of the fact that he “made” dinner “all by himself” that he ate 2 helpings of the chili. Now you have to understand, he is my most difficult eater. Under normal circumstances, Pumpkin Chili would have been a dinner time – ummm – issue shall we say.
So here is the recipe,
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed ( You can also use 1 lb of turkey meat. Just brown it before putting it in the crock pot.)
1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 TBLS chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream ( I used plain Fage Greek yogurt)
Throw everything into the crock pot except the cheese and sour cream. Mix. Cover and set on low. Cook 4-5 hours. Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.
I served this with a tortilla chips and corn. Another note, I like my soups a little thicker. Just add about 2 cups of noodles the last hour of cooking. This is an easy recipe to double and freeze for another meal.
The other night we had homemade pizza. I had gotten pumpkin pasta sauce from the Fresh Market and wanted to try it. So, I made a small pizza for me with the pumpkin pasta sauce, topped it with shredded fresh spinach, chopped mushrooms, goat cheese, and basil. Super yum!!
Since I was on this pumpkin kick I had to try this pumpkin bar recipe I found. This is incredibly easy and much healthier for your family than the “normal” version.
OK. So, the picture doesn’t do it justice, But believe me, you’ve GOT TO TRY THESE!!!
Grain-Free Pumpkin Bars
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c maple flavored almond butter (Regular almond butter works as well)
1/3 c honey
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8×8 pan. Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer into greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly brown and center is firm. Cool. Cut.
To add extra yumminess to this recipe, top with a maple glaze.
3/4 c almonds (pecans work too)
1/4 c maple syrup
2 TBLS coconut oil
1/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth or creamy.
Verdict: The kids inhaled these. Their only complaint was that they were so small! (I cut them into 16 servings – call me stingy!)
To finish my pumpkin food yumminess I had to try this Pumpkin Granola recipe. Another fantabulous (fantastic + fabulous) recipe. This was super yummy on top of warm homemade apple sauce!
1/4 c uncooked Quinoa (find this near the rice section in your grocery store)
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1/4 c sunflower seeds (or any type of seed)
1/4 c walnuts (pecans or almonds work too)
1/2 c dried cranberries (or raisins)
1/4 c REAL maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 c pumpkin puree
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 325 F. Spread quinoa and oats on parchment lined baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove oats from oven. Pour in a bowl and add flaxseed, sunflower seed, walnuts, and cranberries.
Reduce oven to 300 F.
In another bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and stir until well mixed. Pour over oats and combine well. Spread back onto baking sheet and bake another 20 minutes.
These are just a few ideas to cook up with your kids. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season.”
Have you ever read through Ecclesiastes 3? I encourage you to do so. Solomon pretty much sums up every possible phase of life we go through. When you take the time to ponder Ecclesiastes 3, you are reminded of the depth of life we live as well as it’s brevity.
So, enjoy this season with your little pumpkins.
Now I must brace myself before 8 hands “help” me with dinner!
Until next Wednesday,