Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pumpkin Flavored What? 5 Ways to Add Pumpkin to Your Family Meals

I've noticed no matter what I'm writing about, my characters end up in the kitchen making something that sounds delicious, and I always end up trying out the recipe, like petit fours (miniature cakes) Whitleigh in The Wounded Warrior's Wife rocks.

Sad to say those sweet treats turned out better in my book than in real life.

Sigh. Frown.

The character in my latest work in progress, Leanna, is a vegetarian. So, well, that's been interesting, but I've surprised myself with how much fun vegetarian recipes can be. Still, I love me some chicken.

In real life, I love food just as much as my characters do, and while they all have their own specialties, my love is pumpkin. Yumness! My characters can fill you in on their concoctions, but let me welcome you to my world of pumpkin foods!

As an often frazzled stay at home mom and Army wife, I had a two strong longings: the desire for fall flavored lattes, and an overwhelming need to sneak vitamins and veggies into my family's food. Pumpkin rose to the challenge, and long before the Pumpkin-Flavored-Craze swept the world, I was adding that orange goodness filled with vitamin A to whatever my taste-buds demanded.

What's worked so far?

Chili:  Trust me, it's great! Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree to a pot of chili. No one will know, and the fam gets the added bonus of pumpkin vitamins!

"Fall" Pancakes
Creamy Chicken Soup: Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin to a pot of creamy chicken soup. Now. it turns the soup a light shade of orange. If your fam is any sort of picky like mine, add some cheese, and/or a pinch of hot sauce to disguise. Ugh, how manipulative do I sound right now?

Pancakes: Instead of pumpkin pancakes, I call them "fall" pancakes. Add 1/4 or 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree to your pancake batter. Add 1 tsp of Vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. Delicious!

Oatmeal: Yes, this has to be my favorite way to use pumpkin. I add all ingredients to taste, but to get started, add 1/3 cup of pumpkin to a pot of oatmeal meant for a fam of 4. Add about a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup, 1 tsp of cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. I also like to add chopped almonds, chia seeds, raisins, and quinoa. It's a hit!!

Smoothie: So many ways to do this, but one of my favorites...don't judge, just try, is pumpkin, apple, spinach, and ginger with a squeeze of lemon. Add ice, 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 honey crisp apple, 1/4 pumpkin, handful of spinach leaves, 1/2 tsp of fresh ground ginger, squeeze of lemon, and blend!  YUM!! Plain greek yogurt, stevia packet, apple, and pumpkin with cinnamon is great blended up too. :)

Pumpkin Oatmeal

No matter how you decide to use pumpkin, you and your family will receive many health benefits! Long live the pumpkin craze!!

Thought up a crazy way to add pumpkin to your food? Let me know about it!

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