Until just a few years ago, I thought that the pumpkins adorning my favorite grocery store each fall were sold only to be carved into a scary face or cat silhouette. If I wanted to bake a pumpkin pie, or perhaps some pumpkin muffins, I headed straight to the baking isle for a can of pureed pumpkin. The sturdy, beautiful orange pumpkins stayed on my front porch until I came across a recipe for soup that called for freshly pureed pumpkin. I figured I’d give it a try, and I’ve never looked back. Homemade pumpkin puree is fresh, flavorful, and much prettier than canned pumpkin puree. It can be frozen to use throughout the year, and it’s so easy to make.
Although I love savory pumpkin dishes, pumpkin first and foremost screams DESSERT to me. Pumpkin pies, muffins, pancakes, I’m all over it. When I picked out my perfectly-sized pie pumpkin at Tucson CSA this week, I knew great (sweet) things would come of it. A few hours passed, and I pulled the first batch of Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles out of my oven. Perfectly golden, soft, and sweet, they allowed my freshly pureed pumpkin to shine and didn’t overwhelm it with sugar and butter. In fact, these cookies are vegan and call for less than half the sugar of most snickerdoodle recipes. They’re also 100% whole wheat, but hey, who’s counting?
Shelby Thompson is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona. When she isn’t working her day job, Shelby can be found practicing in the yoga studio, playing ball with her black lab Cola, and cooking in the kitchen. Her blog, thesunandthespoon.com, aims to provide nutritious, plant-based recipes for fellow food lovers. She greatly enjoys the wide array of local food and talent in Tucson.