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2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Pumpkin Lovers

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Pumpkin Lovers

Want to know the best thing about shopping for the pumpkin lover in your life this holiday season?! It will actually save you money! Many of these pumpkin items are discounted this time of year, which means it’s the perfect time to stock up, grab […]

Pumpkin Pot Roast with PRE Brands

Pumpkin Pot Roast with PRE Brands

This blog post is in partnership with PRE Brands. All opinions are my own. Thanks for all of the pumpkin love! Full disclosure: I’ve never made a pot roast before. Sure I’ve seen a cut of meat turn into something delicious thanks to my mom, […]

The Magic of Pumpkin Seed Oil

The Magic of Pumpkin Seed Oil

This blog post is in partnership with La Tourangelle. All opinions are my own. Thanks for all of the pumpkin love!

I often like to say the “pumpkin possibilities are endless”. You’ve seen me cook with pumpkin 1000 different ways, from savory to sweet and everything in between, but one thing I hadn’t experimented with prior to this fall was pumpkin seed oil. This deep green colored oil, has a rich, nutty flavor that smells of pumpkin seeds from the minute you open the bottle. I was just knew I would love drizzling it on just about anything, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

On buratta, on soup, dipping bread into it, as a salad dressing and on my face. These are just a few of the ways I’ve had fun with this pumpkin seed oil, which truly proves the possibilities are endless!

ICYMI pumpkin seeds are a wealth of nutrients. You can read my breakdown of all of the benefits here—magnesium, fiber, protein, zinc and many other trace minerals are all packed into this tiny seed! The main reason I started incorporating them into my diet more regularly was because they also promote hair growth, which is also another benefit of pumpkin seed oil.

Do you ever wonder where pumpkin seeds come from? Yes, pumpkins, I know! La Tourangelle’s pumpkin sources their pumpkin seeds from the Styrian region, which is home of the best pumpkin seeds in the world, and use Austrian production methods to cultivate the oil. I think my next goal is to go on a farm tour for pumpkin seeds! How cool would that be?

With the holidays coming up, specialty oils are a great gift for the foodie in your family! The trio pack of walnut, pecan and pumpkin oil is definitely going in my holiday gift guide! Walnut oil is a something I would have never used before, but did you know it’s been a secret pantry staple for chefs for years? I have a feeling the pecan oil would complement Christmas cookies quite nicely too!

Pumpkin seed oil,  is best maintained at a low cooking temperature, so definitely don’t coat your cooking pans with it–rather reap its benefits and delicious taste in a couple of my favorite ways:

Pumpkin Face Mask

In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (preferably not organic), with 1 tbsp. La Tourangelle pumpkin seed oil, 1/2 thick Greek/Icelandic yogurt, and 2 tbsp. raw honey. Mix, and add more pumpkin if the mask is not thick enough to stick onto your face without sliding off. Apply to skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Pumpkin packs a ton of vitamin C, which helps to boost collagen production in the skin! So brighten, tighten, and enjoy the smell of pumpkin dessert on your face!

 

Pumpkin Seed Oil Dressing 

The flavors of this dressing lend themselves extremely well to the rich flavors in a fall salad. This is a pumpkin farro bowl with spiralized butternut squash and spiralized beets, avocado, Parmesan cheese, on a bed of arugula topped with pumpkin seeds was the perfect dinner on a chilly night!

Pumpkin Seed Oil Dressing
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. La Tourangelle Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • ½ tsp.Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Pour over your favorite fall salads or grain bowls. Store in a an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

 

xoxo,
Pumpkin Girl

 

 

 

Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Pies

Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Pies

I realize I’m writing this post a little late in the Thanksgiving dessert game! Perhaps most of you have already made or are making your Thanksgiving desserts right now, but the best part abou this pumpkin recipe are that you can make it in practically […]

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Let’s make Thanksgiving pumpkin POP this year! When it comes to Turkey Day at our house, I’m in charge of one thing–the dessert! You could even say that my love for pumpkin grew out of the fact that year after year I have made a […]

FNCE Fun Recap

FNCE Fun Recap

This post is coming to you one week after the annual Food and Nutrition Expo, held in Chicago this year. I had such a fun time seeing fellow RDs, some who I hadn’t seen since my time in New York City, and tasting some cool new foods on the expo hall floor. I even got to meet one of my brand idols! (hint: she was purely gorgeous in person!) The best part was also the fact that I got to come home every night and sleep in my bed, a refreshing change from working it last year and getting sick in my hotel room!

I’m rounding up my top moments and some nutrition trends you’ll want to keep your eyes out for starting with the food!

I started the conference hanging at Health Warrior’s booth talking all things pumpkin seeds! Did you know they have bars with pumpkin seeds as the first ingredient? Yes! They come in three amazing flavors, and have 8 grams of protein per bar. I love that they are only sweetened with honey, a huge difference compared to a lot of other bars out there. If you live in Chicago you can find them at Target, Jewel-Osco, and on Amazon! Here’s a link to my favorite flavor!

 

 

I had the pleasure of taking over Simple Mill’s Instagram story to show viewers all the happenings on the expo floor! I had so much fun playing food investigative journalist as I scoped out what new and exciting foods brands were debuting, and just how they were teaching dietitians about their foods….hello cranberry bog! I storied my way to a lunch that Simple Mills was hosting where there was no shortage of delicious eats including mini pumpkin donuts and the best cheese and cracker spread! Their pumpkin bread and muffin mix is on my list of top 10 pumpkin products you must have, and if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?!

Along the way I ran into my favorite yogurt maker…the man, the myth, the legend…Siggi! I used to see Siggi every couple of months for RD events on behalf of siggi’s, so it was great to catch up!

The big standouts for me when it came to foods where savory bars, pumpkin seed bars, bars made from beans (yes!), immersion experiences that took RDs one step closer to see how a food is made or grown, coffee everywhere, and clean label transparency.  These were common threads among the booths, and things I think we are going to see a lot more of!

I started at a different end of the expo on Sunday and to my excitement ran into THE Elizabeth from Purely Elizabeth! I’ve been a huge fan of this brand for years, and immediately recognized her, because she is seriously so pretty! Huge honor to meet the maker of my favorite pumpkin granola! Big shout out to their team for hooking a sister up with some mini bags for me to take home!

On the last full day of the conference I had the pleasure of attending a lovely dinner hosted by Kodiak Cakes at Farmhouse in Chicago. I’d never been to this restaurant in Chicago, but heard it was great, and boy it did not disappoint! The menu was curated especially with Kodiak Cake ingredients an there was a healthy dose of pumpkin that hit it out of the park for me! We started with a deconstructed butternut squash soup (remind me to try to remake that!) and then a second course of mushroom pasta, which led into a dessert of pumpkin cheesecake. The cheesecake had an oat crumble that I still can’t stop thinking about! Amazing!

I also came home with some great samples that I’m still digging through (I swear it’s Halloween for dietitians!) and some new research that I’m excited to share more about with you.

Dreamy Pumpkin Parfaits

Dreamy Pumpkin Parfaits

This post was sponsored by Wallaby, however all opinions are my own. A taste of fall in every single bite–that’s the best way I can describe this dreamy pumpkin parfait made with Wallaby spiced pumpkin whole milk yogurt! I’ve tried a lot of pumpkin yogurts […]

Pumpkin Turmeric Soup with Quinoa and Brown Rice

Pumpkin Turmeric Soup with Quinoa and Brown Rice

This post was sponsored by Path of Life. My go-to for healthy weeknight meals that are ready in minutes and made with real, wholesome ingredients.   Soup weather. Chicago has not had much of it yet. During September there was a stretch of a couple of […]

How To Roast Your Own Pumpkin At Home

How To Roast Your Own Pumpkin At Home

Most of us simply buy canned pumpkin and call it a day. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a pantry stocked with Libby’s pumpkin, but I got to thinking how different is it if you make it at home?

Fun fact is that pumpkin puree can actually be a mix of several different types of squashes. I learned last year that there is no regulation that prevents manufacturers from adding others into the mix. Are you shocked?! So was I at first, but when you think about it many do have a similar flavor that probably complements the pumpkin.

After making my own, I’m truly amazed at how easy it was, and how great it tasted in everything I put it in! I did notice it lasted a little less time than your store bought can would in the fridge. I think that’s to be expected.

The perfect pumpkins for roasting are called “pie” or “sugar” pumpkins. They range in size from about 2-4 lbs and will look a little wider than your bigger pumpkins. Once you find those, the hard part is truly over! Don’t believe me? Check out my take on roasting your own pumpkins at home below, and get ready for the endless pumpkin possibilities about to happen in your kitchen when you have your very own puree!

Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 or 2 pie/sugar pumpkins
  • Olive Oil
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Sharp Knife
  • Baking Sheet
  • High-Speed Blender
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start with the pumpkin on a cutting board. With the knife, cut around the stem until you can pop it off. Next, cut the pumpkin in half vertically until you get two halves. Then proceed to cut each half again into a wedge, so that you will get 4 wedges total. Sprinkle wedges with a little bit of olive oil and pink salt. Place on baking sheet skin side down. Roast for 40-45 minutes and let completely cool.
  2. Once completely cooled, you should be able to peel the skin back. Once you peel all of the skin off, you are ready to put it in the blender and make your pumpkin pulp! Blend on high, until you see the thickness resemble the pumpkin puree you know and love. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. (pro tip: once you get close to the one week mark, make sure you check for mold before using it! Unfortunately that's what you get when dealing with squashes!)

 

xoxo
Pumpkin Girl
I Tried All The Pumpkin Yogurts I Could Find And Here’s What You Need To Know

I Tried All The Pumpkin Yogurts I Could Find And Here’s What You Need To Know

As if you didn’t already have enough choices when it comes to yogurts these days, bring on pumpkin season, and you’re head will be spinning as you go down the pumpkin rabbit hole for yogurt. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, we’ve seen all the variations, but […]