If there are two things I know in life, it’s these: How to throw a spectacular party, and how to stock it with food that is healthy, delicious, and unforgettable. While Halloween is a holiday best known for its candy, there are so many health Fall options out there for entertaining! Here are my favorites, from sweet n’ simple pumpkin seeds to pumpkin butter, and curried pumpkin soup recipe that will blow your mind.
1. Simply Sweet Pumpkin Seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse fresh pumpkin seeds (leftover from all the pre-party pumpkin carving!).
- Melt 1 Tb butter or coconut oil in a bowl, and toss in pumpkin seeds, stirring to coat. If you have the seeds from several pumpkins, you may need to increase the butter/oil to coat properly.
- Stir in 2 Tb cinnamon, 1 Tb Stevia, 1/2 tsp cloves, and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Spread evenly on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes to ensure even toastiness.
2. Coconut Curried Pumpkin Soup with Naan Toast
Brush naan with olive oil on both sides, and toast in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1″ fresh ginger, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1/4th cup brown sugar, or honey to taste
- 4 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, heat first 5 ingredients until sizzling and lightly browning. Add curry powder and cinnamon, stirring until fragrant. Then add your brown sugar or honey, pumpkin puree, vegetable broth and coconut milk. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients carefully (don’t spatter!), and finally, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in small “taster” bowls, garnishing with a slice of toasted naan, and maybe sprinkle some fresh cilantro or parsley on top for color.
3. Healthy Pumpkin Butter
Serve this pumpkin butter on pumpkin bread, use it as a filling for mini-tarts, or use in place of jelly as the gooey center of thumbprint cookies. Hey, I said the pumpkin butter was healthy, but I’m not responsible for what you do with it!
Yield: 28 Servings
• 3 1/2 cups of fresh pumpkin cut in small pieces
• 3/4 cup apple juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2-1.5 teaspoons ground ginger (depending on your liking)
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 3/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
• 1- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Note: You can adjust the sugar and seasonings to your own taste, of course.
1. Boil or Bake raw pumpkin until soft, drain well and measure out the 3.5 cups, or use 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan except lemon juice, mix well.
3. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover loosely with lid ajar (slightly offset). Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, in the same manner for an additional 40 minutes, stirring frequently. This mixture may bubble and splatter if not careful.
4. Remove from heat and let it sit for 15 minutes before removing lid.
5. Adjust sucanat or sugar to taste if necessary, then stir in lemon juice.
6. Cool completely, and put in an airtight container like a large mason jar. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
To find out just how good pumpkin is for you, check out The Health Benefits of Pumpkin: So Good, It’s Scary!