Can you feel it?! Autumn is in the air! That means three things:
- it's time to pull out all of your cardigans!
- things are about to become gloriously colorful!
- PUMPKINS AND SQUASH ARE IN SEASON!
That last bit is in all-caps because these are some of my favorite foods, and some really easy ways to work hearty, delicious, nutrient-dense goodies into a plant-based diet. As an added dash of awesome, sweet veggies like these can actually help curb sugar cravings throughout the day. (WHAT! I know. How fabulous.)
Since quitting sugar almost a year ago, I've gotten creative with other substitutes for the sweet stuff in food... and things like pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, and squash have been the perfect go-to's. (Are you noticing a pattern here? Lots of brightly-colored, mostly orange veggies. They're starchy, yes, but starchy in a way that breaks down slowly and evenly in the bloodsteam; not with a spike/crash like refined flour or sugar.)
All of these are terrifically versatile foods to prepare, so get creative with how you work them into a day. Roasting, sauteeing, and steaming are all easy to do and yield different textures and tastes. Consider these combinations of spices:
- allspice, coriander, cumin and turmeric (a little Indian)
- garlic, ginger, pepper, and sea salt (Thai-inspired)
- nutmeg and cinnamon (dessert-y)... like this incredibly easy recipe below...
pie-less pumpkin pie!
[vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, low sugar]
I will admit: there was a period when I was eating this daily. Sometimes twice daily. It's that good. I had to cut myself off a little because it felt like it was getting to a bad place, but I think the pumpkin and I are back to being on good terms. This makes an awesome dessert or a power-fueled breakfast, so much so that you won't even miss the buttery crust (which usually just gets in the way of the pumpkin anyways, right?)
A few things to have handy:
- one can of organic, unsweetened pumpkin [the label should say 100% pureed pumpkin; no sugar, no additives] OR freshly chopped, steamed pumpkin [if you're feeling adventurous and have some sharp knives hanging around]
(if so, peel + chop your medium-sized pumpkin and steam or roast the chunks until tender; 400F in the oven for 40-45 minutes should do the trick, or about 10 minutes in a steamer basket)
- a few sprinkles of cinnamon
- a few sprinkles of nutmeg
- 3 tsp goji berries
- 3 Turkish figs, chopped
- 3 tsp walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 3 tsp almond butter (optional)
Divide pumpkin into three bowls. Top with remaining ingredients (divide by thirds). Revel at how super-simple it was to make something as delicious as pumpkin pie (and more texturally awesome).
Sweet veggies, superfoods, and healthy fats. Hurray for fall!