Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall flavors




With fall comes my favorite season of the year. We haven't taken part in celebrations on one particular day, but celebrate the whole season through. I love the changing leaves, the crisp air, the feel of getting comfortable with the new school year, and the end of the harvest season. We try to make at least one trip to pick apples and pick up a couple pumpkins to transform into a window or front step decoration. Perhaps most of all, I love pulling out my fall recipes and enjoying the flavors of the season.



Pumpkins


We have already made one batch of pumpkin pie in our house, and now I just need to get my next batch of pumpkin baked for making pumpkin bread. Here is my all time favorite pumpkin bread recipe (adapted from All recipes Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread by Laurie Bennett).


Here's my tweaked and slightly healthier version:


1 3/4 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup ground flax seed

2/3 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 1/2 cups white wheat flour (I have made this with regular whole wheat as well, we just prefer the white wheat)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger


Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flower three 7x3 loaf pans ( I prefer to do one loaf and then a bunch of muffins of various sizes).

Mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, flax, water and sugar until well blended.

In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and blend into pumpkin mixture until blended.

Pour into pans.

Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean (about 20 minutes for muffins and 8 minutes for mini-muffins).

These are incredible fresh from the oven, and as impossible as it may seem, even better the next day.




Use your pumpkin carving time intentionally. Never let a moment slip through your fingers. We love to carve pumpkins with shapes, patriotic designs, fall pictures, or our own inventions. You can use this time to talk about the light of Christ that should shine brightly in each of our own lives. One idea for a devotional time built off of pumpkin carving time can be found here.


We have recently enjoyed finding patterns online to import onto our pumpkin. The Huggies website had a few cute Disney designs. We have also gotten some neat designs off of this site in the past. They have a lot that we would not use, but we did enjoy some of the patriotic or autumn ones.


Don't forget to save the seeds to bake and snack on. I was going to type up some simple instructions and suggestions, but I found this very thorough posting on pumpkin seeds, so feel free to check out more information than you could possibly need on using and enjoying the pumpkin seeds.


Apples


We just went to the orchard and came home with about 20 pounds of apples in our half bushel bag. We probably consumed about 5 pounds during our time picking as well!


Now, what to do with them. Most of them will get eaten plain or with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on. Others will turn into juice, apple butter, pie, applesauce, muffins, cobbler, apple crisp, and I think I will just have to whip up a batch of my favorite apple treat . . .


If you have some time on your hands or you have kids who like to help in the kitchen, these caramel apple bites are amazing, although a bit time consuming to construct. I have made this recipe as is a few times and it has gotten rave revues!



Whether enjoying pumpkins or apples or just the wonderful fall season, I hope you have a wonderful fall, and discover how others celebrate the season at Heart of the Matter Online.

3 comments:

Sherry said...

We love fall too and pumpkin bread is one of our favorite things to have in the fall! Thank you for sharing the healthier recipe, too! I'm always looking for a healthy recipe. :D

Tracy said...

LOVE anything with pumpkin!!!

SmallWorld at Home said...

Pumpkin bread and applesauce are definitely my 2 favorite fall treats!