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!
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.
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 spice, pure 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!
Pumpkin & Banana Smoothie
Makes 4 servings
1 cup pumpkin puree (chilled)
1 banana (frozen or chilled)
1½ cups skim milk or almond milk
6 oz. 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.