I've been a little overexcited about root vegies and pumpkins lately. Don't ask me why - maybe it was the recent hail and rainy weather that we've had despite spring having sprung some almost 2 months ago.
Anyway, in all my enthusiasm I roasted a whole tray of pumpkin (ironbark and jap), steamed another kilo (to add to our daily green smoothies), and roasted a mixed tray of swedes, parsnips and home grown sweet potato, intending that I would bring a few pieces to work every day for my 4pm afternoon snack.
Fast forward 4 days and it became screamingly apparent that despite our best efforts, we were not going to get through all of it quickly enough, so I pureed the lot in a failed attempt to make soup (despite throwing tomatoes and carrots into the mix, it wasn't enough to overcome the strong smell of swede). What's a girl to do with an icecream container full of (mostly) pumpkin puree? What else - bake, of course!
I sat the puree into a sieve to drain off some of the liquid and then I got to work. First up, the naughty:
|Pumpkin, cheese and rosemary scones|
Lorraine from NotQuiteNigella says in her blog that she had 3 of these, lathered in butter, before she remembered she had to photograph them. Yes, they are that good - oh-so-fluffy, subtle pumpkin, salty savoury cheese richness and then you get that scent of rosemary. Having had a mostly paleo diet for some time, it was very, VERY difficult to just stop at one of these. How I've missed you, flour!
And then the not-as-naughty:
|Chai pumpkin bread courtesy of PaleOMG.com|
A couple of years ago I was given a small box of T2 choc chip chai as a Kris Kringle present. It smells amazing and I like the tea, I just don't happen to drink a lot of tea, so safe to say it's still about 90% full. The recipe for this pumpkin bread intrigued me because it meant I could use up more leftovers! I made a few modifications to the original recipe as follows:
- I had a couple of tbsp of leftover sun butter, so I used that first and then topped up the rest of the cup with the required almond butter
- As per the recommendation of one of the reviewers I added 3 tbsp of tapioca flour for added fluffiness and colour
- I increased the honey from 1/4 cup to just under a 1/2 cup, but in hindsight it really didn't need it
- I had a real craving for prunes (and have some that are very close to their best before) so chopped about a half cup and tossed that in at the end
- I used about 2 tsp of my choc chip chai in lieu of the contents of 2 chai tea bags
Most of the paleo recipes I've tried have been great, but one thing I haven't really liked so much is the banana breads - always overly wet and gooey on the inside, and with almost no structure (it's so wet and/or coconutty that it just all falls to bits and you have to eat it with cutlery instead of just being able to pick up a slice). What I really loved about this recipe is that you honestly (and I'm not exaggerating here) cannot tell that it's paleo. Aside from occasionally crunching into whole spices (whole cloves are sooo strong!), its absolutely delicious and I can definitely see myself making this one over and over. Best of all, I did the whole thing in my food processor. Easy peasy!
On an aside, I love her blog and am slowly working my way through her posts. Such humour! Such amazing recipes - I can't wait to try them all!
Speaking of ooey and gooey:
|Ooey gooey chocolate chip pumpkin bars|
Steve really loved these little bars, I didn't mind the gooiness this time because it wasn't trying to pretend to be a bread. They're moist and chewy and very more-ish, but definitely a sometimes treat. To me, coconut sugar is still sugar, and I have enough problems with that addiction thank you very much!
Now last but not least:
|Pumpkin spice macarons|
I wanted to use up all of my puree, so I had closer to 1 full cup, and I omitted the honey because I discovered belatedly that my coconut flakes were sweetened (not happy, McKenzies! I bought the pack some months ago before reading the label - silly me for thinking that moist coconut flakes would be just that). Steve wasn't quite so keen on these, they've very moist, quite sweet and very pumpkin spice-y. I had great reviews from my co-workers and I like them, but I'm reluctant to eat much from this batch because of how sweet they are. I'll have to try them again sometime with unsweetened coconut and less puree!
There's so much I didn't know you can do with pumpkin aside from roasts and soups. I even saw a recipe for pumpkin (paleo) ice cream! I think I'm coming close to exhausting my pumpkin obsession for now, but I'll be sure to give it a go in the future.