Savor the Season
Finn and Smoothie

Everybody loves Pumpkin season!

Good Morning, Pumpkin!

Crisp air. Yellow and orange fallen leaves. Soft knit scarves. Pumpkin! Between pumpkin lattes and pumpkin pie, the fall season has become synonymous with that gorgeous round squash.  Armed with a fat, orange pumpkin or a big can of Libby’s, you can add pumpkin flare to almost anything.

Pumpkins are so versatile, you could break down pumpkin-y delights by category when looking for inspiration: there’s everything from soup, pasta, breads and muffins, dessert (including pie, of course), beer—even pumpkin dog treats.

With so many options, I decided to narrow it down and experiment with easy pumpkin breakfast ideas, reusing the same basic ingredients for three different recipes. If there’s a good time to add nutritious and filling pumpkin to your meal, it’s probably first thing in the morning!

Each recipe is pretty flexible so feel free to experiment on your end—swap almond milk in for my skim milk or add an extra scoop of pumpkin here and a dash of cinnamon there.

Finn and Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese
1 package of cream cheese (8oz)
½ cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients until smooth. (Use a mixer if you have one—I just used a wooden spoon.) Refrigerate overnight for firm texture. Spread on cinnamon raisin bagels or use as a dip for sliced apples and grapes.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Microwavable Pumpkin Oatmeal
Makes 2-3 servings depending on how much you love oatmeal

1 cup oats (“old fashioned” or “instant”)
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ – 1 cup skim milk (depending on taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
A dash of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spicepure vanilla extract and salt
Chopped green apple and walnuts (for topping)

Combine all of the ingredients (minus toppings) in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat until oatmeal is cooked through (about 3-4 minutes depending on the microwave). Add chopped apple and walnuts to taste. Yum!

Finn and Smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie

Pumpkin & Banana Smoothie
Makes 4 servings

1 cup pumpkin puree (chilled)
1 banana (frozen or chilled)
1 ½ cups skim milk or almond milk
6oz vanilla yogurt (plain or Greek)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (to taste)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A few ice cubes (if desired)

Toss in the ingredients and mix it up in the blender! It’s hard to mess up a smoothie, especially one with great ingredients. If you want it thicker, use whole milk or add more pumpkin. Instead of brown sugar, you could use honey or agave. I just use what I have on hand and taste after I mix it up in the blender. “Hm, needs more milk.” Be prepared to experiment—that’s the fun. As for this smoothie, I recommend chilling the banana and pumpkin so it’s nice and cold post-blend. I made lots of extras so I had pumpkin smoothies for breakfast—it held up really well over a few days.

What is your favorite pumpkin-based recipe? Let us know on the FreshDirect Facebook page or via Twitter (@FreshDirect).

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