Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Season!!

Although I claim to be all about the summer, October is probably my favorite month. The autumn foliage is at its peak, there are pumpkins and vibrant mums everywhere, and it's home to one of my favorite holidays. I've always loved Halloween. It's even more fun now that I have Logan to join in the festivities. I still love watching the old Halloween classics with Bugs Bunny and Witch Hazel on YouTube, and I'll never tire of movies like Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas. Logan and I watched that last one this morning actually. He loved the scenes with Christmas trees, and I had to rewind the song "What's This" a few times.

Another great thing about the month is the return of pumpkin as an ingredient. It's a tradition for me to grab a pumpkin latte and take a stroll around the Mill Pond in Setauket. Andrew and Logan joined me last year for the first time, and we plan on going again soon.

Last year at the Mill Pond

I tried something new this year, I made my own pumpkin puree from a locally grown cheese pumpkin. What. A. Pain. I try to avoid cans whenever I can (I'll pass on the BPA, thanks), but peeling and chopping the pumpkin was such a big production that I'll stick to the canned pumpkin for the rest of the season.

Cheese pumpkin.
I peeled and cubed the pumpkin, then
steamed the pieces until easily pierced with a fork..

and blended them into a puree.

That one pumpkin made a lot of puree!
Logan looking festive while eating oatmeal
with pumpkin and apple puree.
It never occurred to me to make my own lattes and frappes, until I saw recipes on Pinterest. I used coconut milk to take them vegan, adjusted the ingredients to suit my tastes, and wow. They're delicious!

Iced Pumpkin Frappes
Makes 2 large servings

Freezing the coffee in ice cube trays
was my stroke of genius.

  • 16 coffee ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  1. Brew 2 cups of coffee ahead of time, and freeze in ice cube trays.
  2. Once frozen, add the cubes along with the rest of the ingredients to a blender, and blend until the ice is blended enough to drink.
  3. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon, and enjoy along with the warm fall weather we've been blessed with so far :-)

I cheated and added traditional whipped cream to these,
but if you're feeling ambitious you can top them with coconut
whipped cream, like I made here. These were delicious with
pumpkin muffins, fresh from the oven!

The latte recipe I found was made in a crockpot and took 2 hours. Who wants to wait 2 hours in the morning for their latte? Not me, so I made it in a pan on the stove and it still came out wonderful.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Makes 4

Cooling on the windowsill
  • 2 cups fresh brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie extract
  • 2 tsp. sugar

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over the stove.
  2. Heat over a low flame until warm, but don't let it boil.
  3. Serve immediately.

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