There is nothing more soothing than a wonderful squash soup on a chilly fall day. I usually tend to pick butternut squash as my base squash but this year I tried out some different recipes using pumpkin. Since it is only here for a short amount of time it feels like a special event when making it.
With as many food allergies as I have, I tend to look at recipes as a guideline rather than a rule. This recipe is loosely taken from, "The Martha Stewart Cookbook".
Instead of half-and-half and sour cream I used coconut milk. I also roasted the pumpkin and carrots to add a little more flavor. Pumpkin is bland it needs all the help it can get!
This is really a base soup that other things can be added to it. Sage is always good with pumpkin as is ginger, rosemary, cumin, or turmeric. I like a little kick so I added red pepper flakes and more fresh ground pepper at the end.
As I do with recipes make it your own. Add flavors to it that make you happy.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly brush the inside of the pumpkin and the carrots with olive oil. Place the vegetables on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 45-50 minutes until the carrots and pumpkin can be easily pierced with a fork.
Once cool enough to handle, scrape the pumpkin pulp out of the shell and set aside.
In a cast iron soup pot, melt the butter. Next add the onion, leek and shallots. Saute for 5-7 minutes.
Next, add the pumpkin, carrots and pears and mix well. Cook for another minute.
Add the stock and the fresh thyme. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
In batches, place soup in a blender and blend until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot and slowly add the coconut milk in.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Next Veggie of the month.... everyone's favorite Brussel Sprouts!
As the weather turns colder its time to think about changing up our workouts to start getting ready for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or for some just snow shoveling! With any snow sport you must build a foundation of strength.
In this three part series we will give suggestions of exercises to add to your workout program. This first part is all about stabilization.
These exercises are foundation on which the next two parts will build on. There is nothing "sexy" about these. Just the basics! A must in order to get your body for the more dynamic moves to come.
The 6 exercises to add in this month to help build stability are as follows:
Start or add where you are in your workout program. As always make sure your form is spot on every rep. Make sure to check out our video below to get a visual of all these exercises.
Pumpkin became our obvious choice October’s vegetable of the month.
Mmm, pumpkin spice lattes and breads. Pumpkin waffles from Trader Joes and of course, pie with pumpkin ice cream no less.
That's all well and good, however, in our quest to get folks eating vegetables in a healthy way, this one is too often simply associated with lists like the one above. In reality, Pumpkins are a great base for healthy eating.
While containing not a lot of calories it's packed with nutrients. In fact in 1 cup of cooked pumpkin there are only 49 calories but it has 245% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 2 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber.
The high amounts of beta carotene that converts to vitamin A in our bodies when consumed is credited with helping with eye and skin health. Beta carotene is also known to protect the cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Thats just some of the many good reasons to eat pumpkin!
The question is, "How do I eat more pumpkin to get the health benefits without all the not so healthy additions?"
A couple of good ways is to add pureed pumpkin to your morning oatmeal, or you afternoon yogurt. Or as a yummy smoothie. (Recipe below:)
The reality is that pumpkin is extremely bland. It needs some help with flavor, which it turns out tend to also be good for you.
For example the two most commonly used spices are cinnamon and ginger.
It is very easy to open a can of pumpkin and and add some extra fiber and vitamin A to a recipe. However, if you want to make the real thing. It is super easy to roast a pumpkin.
First pick up a sugar pumpkin or go to your local farmer’s market for a special roasting variety.
Cut the top off and cut the pumpkin in half.
Remove the seeds. (And save them to make some yummy roasted pumpkin seeds. Also highly nutritious.)
Lightly brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil.
Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, flesh side down and roast at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
Once cool enough to handle, dig out the pulp and place it in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
You may need to scrap the edges a couple of times and if needed add a tiny bit of water.
Store for up to a week in your refrigerator or freeze for several months in the freezer. Since there is such a high concentration of water in pumpkin you may need to mix up the pumpkin in the blender again once it is defrosted.
A great way to use up this great fresh pumpkin puree is in a smoothie. Super simple and very yummy.
Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake
Combine all ingredients in blender and enjoy!
You may notice that our straw looks a little different! In addition to trying to get folks to eat more veggies, I am also trying to use less plastic. The above picture features The LastStraw. It folds down to into a small carrying case that can attach to your keychain. Also includes a straw cleaner. Love this! For those of you in Spokane you can find it at the Kitchen Engine. It works great for those lattes I mentioned earlier :)
Coming up in two weeks a Pumpkin soup recipe!