Of course, I'm taking about Pumpkin. This morning heading to my office I stopped into my local Starbucks, grabbed my grande coffee and ice water, making my way to the exit. When from the corner of my eye I saw a woman, who was simply thrilled, snatch a newly placed cup from the pick-up area. "Pumpkin spiced latté for Becca," the barista announced. As her she picked up her prized coffee drink I heard her say, "I have been waiting for you." It was sweet and a little creepy at the same time, but for a Pumpkin Head nothing out of the ordinary. For the rest of us non-pumpkin followers, a pumpkin spice is a seasonal drink component only offered in the fall in stores. Many coffee lovers see it as the unofficial official start to the fall.
In the next few months get ready to be overpowered by the pumpkin spice. You think you can fight it, but I assure you, you cannot. It's in everything from cookies to pasta. Pumpkin spice tortilla chips anyone? But after seeing the joy in Becca's eyes as she embraced her spiced latte like a long lost relative, I say if you can't beat 'em, join 'em by welcoming this squash into your life and your fall menu. Pumpkin on its own is super nutritious but can be a bit unwieldy to work with. Below are three ways you two can get more of this smooth, slightly ribbed, orange colored treat into your life today.
Eat its Babies. That's right, toast and eat the little to-be-pumpkins. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc which can help your immune system fight off those first colds of the fall. In addition, the seeds have quite a bit of protein and varying types of vitamin E. I eat seeds all year long but it's a fun and very easy addition to your fall menu, especially if you want just a nibble of the season. Recognizing that pumpkin is not always associated with pastry, cookie or dessert is also a nice way to rebrand the way you see pumpkin over all.
Covet Thy Can. For me, canned pumpkin is a modern wonder. Some amazing machine has prepped your pumpkin for you. I use these canned wonders for soups, purees or even interesting dips like pumpkin hummus. There are no recipes so don't sent me an email about it--all you do is put pumpkin in hummus dip and enjoy. Just make sure you're buying canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. One is only 86 calories per cup versus 281, which is created by all of the added sugar in the filling.
Flame It. If you live anywhere in the continental United States then you know sometimes fall and summer have an overlapping period. Use this time to introduce some fall favors to your summer grill. Slice up your pumpkin and give it a nice grilling. This is also a great ingredient to work on the crosshatch grill marks technique. Grilled pumpkin is a nice addition to any menu and is packed with fiber to keep your summer weight going all the way to winter.
However you add this orange ingredient to your menu keep in mind that even though we live in a world where we can get pumpkin year round, we as a society have decided that there are only three months in which you can truly enjoy this product so get on board and learn to love the pumpkin!
Be fearless, be full.