Easy Pumpkin Fig Mousse

This is SUCH a simple recipe, and a healthy way to celebrate the pumpkin flavors of the season. You’ll get more compliments than you feel you deserve … what a great way to start the holiday season, right?

Pumpkin Fig Mousse

Easy Pumpkin Fig Mousse Recipe

Note: As with all recipes using Real Food ingredients, all measures are approximate, and the right blend depends on the characteristics of your in-season veggies (they can vary significantly in sweetness, spiciness, texture, etc.). You’re safe to experiment!

Ingredients

  • One 16 oz can (BPA-free) or box of organic pumpkin – not pumpkin pie mix! (Feel free to sub with one sugar pumpkin, roasted, if you’re feeling like roasting pumpkin!)
  • Two dried figs
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice or garam masala (like pumpkin pie spice, but a little more exotic) If you really like cinnamon or ginger or vanilla or whatever, feel free to add a bit more of this.
  • Optional garnishes if you’re feeing fancy: salted pumpkin seeds (highly recommended for the contrast to the sweet pumpkin), sliced fresh fig, dab of greek yogurt, coconut cream, or fresh whipped cream, and/or organic graham cracker squares (which can give the sense of a “crust”)
  • Toss all ingredients in a strong blender, like a Vitamix, and blend until smooth. Taste, and adjust spices to your liking. Add another fig or a spoonful of maple syrup if you want it sweeter. If you’ve added anything, re-blend, then pour into serving dishes. Hold until ready to serve, add garnishes, and be ready to accept compliments!

    Healthy Pumpkin Pie, Baked in the Shell

    Pumpkin Pie Baked in the Pumpkin

    Fresh Pumpkin Pie SliceOk, now THIS was a fun one to figure out! I wanted a fully REAL food pumpkin pie – nothing processed. And I wanted to bake it in the shell. And I wanted it to be fairly easy. Here you go: simple, healthy, and beautiful!

    If you’re thinking of making this for Thanksgiving, you may want to make it once or twice ahead of time, too. Not because it’s tricky or anything, just because it’s delicious :-).

    Ingredients
    2 medium “Sugar Pumpkins” – these are NOT jack o’lantern pumpkins, they’re quite different. Look for ones marked “sugar pumpkins” or “baking pumpkins.”
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    3-4 tbsp “pumpkin pie spice” (or mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice)
    1 tsp salt
    1.5 cup raw cashews
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    I also like to add some freshly ground nutmeg and a little fresh ginger if I have it on hand
    Pepitas for garnish
    Optional: 1/4 cup marscapone cheese – makes the pie super-creamy, but omit for vegan version
    Optional: 2 eggs – they’re not needed, but some people prefer the texture of eggy pumpkin pie

    How to make

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Cut the tops off of both pumpkins, and cut one in to halves, leaving the other whole. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and other tissues and put aside (you can roast the seeds later if you like).

    Pumpkin pieces ready to roastMix the maple syrup, spices, and salt, and pour into the “bowls” of the halves and the whole pumpkin, and spread around the inside surface. Place these on a large baking sheet and lay a piece of aluminum foil over all. Place into the oven – they are going to cook about 30 – 50 minutes (totally depends on the pumpkins, they can vary considerably), until softened but the shell of the large pumpkin is still solid (not collapsed).

    Remove the pumpkins to cool. Put the cashews, a little water and vanilla in a high speed blender (like Vitamix) or food processor. Note: If you do not have a high speed blender, simmer the cashews in water for about 15 minutes, then discard the water before processing) Process until smooth, adding a little water as needed to make smooth. If you are using marscapone cheese and/or eggs, add them now.

    When the pumpkin pieces are cool enough, pick them up and pour the remaining maple syrup/spices from them directly into the cashew mix and continue blending on low. Then, scrape the soft pumpkin pulp from the pumpkin halves, all the way to the skin (discarding skin), and add to the blender (still on low). Last, scrape about half of the pumpkin pulp from the whole pumpkin, leaving enough to preserve the structure, and also add this to the blender. Process until smooth. Note: you may overflow your blender, and have to blend in stages.

    Taste the pumpkin mixture (assuming you haven’t added eggs) and adjust seasonings – I usually wind up adding some more spices at this point.

    Pumpkin ready to go back into the oven

    Pumpkin ready to go back into the oven. Note that the filling will expand a bit, so expect it to overflow if you fill to the edge.

    When the filling is ready, slowly pour it back into the whole pumpkin, and put the “pie” back in the oven to bake for another 40 – 50 minutes or so, until the top is browned and the filling seems to be set. Remove, and let cool to room temperature, or place in the refrigerator to serve later (most people prefer pumpkin pie to be chilled).

    I like to serve this topped with a little more cashew cream or marscapone, blended with a bit of maple syrup, plus a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds. Slice from top to bottom and put slices flat onto plates, then top with the cashew cream or marscapone. Beautiful and delicious – Enjoy!!!