Pumpkin Favorites!

I must admit Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Its my least favorite holiday actually. There is something about a day that celebrates the dead by dressing up in black and orange and feeds children endless amounts of candy to children right before bed that I can’t seem to understand. I’m not knocking the holiday, I’m just saying its not for me. There is one thing I do love about Halloween……. pumpkins. There’s nothing that says fall like putting pumpkin in everything! Here’s my top 10 things to do with pumpkin:

1.) Painting Pumkins: Every year I dread carving pumpkins. Digging out the insides, being elbow deep in gooey, ooey slim, having multiple children in arms reach of sharp objects as you try to carve whatever crazy design they come up with. Or even worse the cutouts that you have to poke the holes first then cut out All that work and then they only last a couple of days before they look like wrinkled old men. However if you paint the pumpkins with acrylic paint they last for a month or more, there is no slimy, no sharp objects and the kids can do it all on their own! Yay!

2.) Pumpkin Seeds: I bet you’re wondering how I get the seeds for the pumpkin seeds if we don’t carve pumpkins. Well let me tell you. I get them from when I make pumpkin puree. To make pumpkin puree cut the pumpkins in half, spoon out the seeds and goop, rinse the seeds until clean and lay them out to dry. Once dry I toss them in a TBSP of olive oil, sprinkle a teaspoon each of salt, onion powder and garlic powder and a 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well and then bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes or until crunchy. You have yourself a healthy and delicious snack. I used the seeds out of 7 small pumpkins, you will have to adjust the recipe depending on how many pumpkins you use.

3.) Pumpkin Puree: I found a very simple pumpkin puree recipe on pinterest. All you do is cut pie pumpkins (the smaller pumpkins) in half, cut the stem off and dig out the guts. Lay each half face down on a cookie sheet with a cup of water and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. After baking let them cool and scoop out the inside. The skin of the pumpkin will fall off very similar to a baked sweet potato. Blend in a blender or food processor for a minute or until pureed. I separate mine into freezer bags with 1 cup of puree in each quart bag, stick it in the freezer and its good all fall and winter. Just lay it out to thaw when ready to use it. Pumpkin Puree Recipe (http://www.sixfiguresunder.com/pumpkinpuree/)

4.) Pumpkin Latte: My two favorite times of year at Starbucks is fall and Christmas. There is nothing like a skinny pumpkin latte on a chilly fall day or a skinny Crème Brule Latte on a freezing winter day. There was some hype earlier this year about all the bad stuff that Starbucks uses to make their pumpkin lattes and that there isn’t actually any pumpkin in them. I don’t care……I LOVE THEM! Drink Up! Here is a recipe that is supposed to be very similar to a Starbucks Pumpkin Latte. And I learned they just opened a new drive-through Starbucks right by my house! Thank you, Tastes of Orlando for that info! Tastes of Orlando is my favorite local site for Orlando business reviews and updated news.

5.) Pumpkin Pie: There is no thanksgiving complete without the traditional pumpkin pie piled high with whip cream. I’m not gonna lie, I have never made my own from scratch but I am very fond of Sarah Lee’s! Load that up with cool whip and you have yourself a delicious dessert.

6.) Pumpkin Scone: You know what’s better than a skinny pumpkin Latte from Starbuck? A skinny pumpkin Latte with a pumpkin scone from Starbucks. A warm pumpkin bread covered with a cream cheese frosting melting in your mouth, yes please! If you don’t live near a Starbucks I found a recipe very similar on pinterest; Pumpkin Scone Recipe http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/08/pumpkin-scones-starbucks-copycat/.

7.) Pumpkin Shakeology or Protein shake: My husband and I are huge fans of shakeology….the healthiest meal of the day! I love that there are so many recipes to spice up your protein shake so you never get tired of them. This is my favorite pumpkin shakeolgy recipe but there are others so if you not a fan of this one, try another.

8.) Pumpkin Roll: There is something undeniable about the perfected combination of pumpkin and cream cheese that is the pumpkin roll! I don’t make these either but someone is always selling them this time of year. Super simple to pull out of the freezer, cut into pieces and serve at a festive holiday party.

9.) Pumpkin Pie Biscotti: If you don’t want a whole scone, these pumpkin biscotti taste just as good and go great with morning coffee. They are super easy to make. Follow this Pumpkin Pie Biscotti recipe, drizzle with cream cheese frosting and enjoy. I usually make a big batch and then put them in the freezer. Lay as many as you want out the night before and have a delicious biscotti for breakfast.

10.) Pumpkin Cheesecake: Just the word “cheesecake” and I’m sold. This yummy dessert is another option in place of the traditional pumpkin pie. This particular recipe is easy to make and taste wonderful. Just make sure you have a cheesecake pan before you start mixing.

Check out my pinterest board pumpkin, pumpkins, pumpkins from the pinterest tab at the top of my blog page if you want to see all my pumpkin recipes!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Halloween!!!!

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