Maple Spice Pumpkin Butter | The Rising Spoon

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Maple Spice Pumpkin Butter

Maple Spice Pumpkin Butter |

The leaves are FINALLY changing here in Texas (even though the temps are in the mid 70s) and we're only a day away from Halloween, so the veggie education gals & I thought it appropriate to focus on a yearly October favorite this month: pumpkin!

October Veg-ucation: Pumpkin

Similar to last month's vegetable, butternut squash, this vivid orange member of the squash family (cucurbita to be specific) has hundreds of varieties and is grown all over the world. The most popular here in America are the pie pumpkins, jack-o-lantern pumpkins and mini Jack-Be-Littles. Basically, the ones that you can easily carve into for Halloween and bake for a Thanksgiving feast.  

Although you can grow pumpkin almost all year long (if the weather is warm enough), they appear in huge piles in early fall, which is a good time to roast fresh pumpkins to make homemade pumpkin puree. However, during autumn when pumpkin-mania is in full force, canned pumpkin is readily available and many folks reach for those since it's quicker. 

Perks of Eating Pumpkin

Whether you're opting for freshly roasted or canned pumpkin, there are lots of health benefits to consuming it! The peel and flesh's vivid orange hue is a tell-tale sign this veggie is loaded with antioxidants--beta carotene to be specific. But there's more!

Pumpkin has: 
  • excellent amounts of vitamin A, K and fiber
  • good amounts of vitamin C, E, potassium and iron
  • low calories and is filling 

To learn more about the health benefits of pumpkin and winter squashes, read here.

A New Way to Eat Pumpkin Puree

Two of my favorite ways to use pumpkin puree this time of year is in my pumpkin-apple harvest muffins and pumpkin spice lattes with homemade vanilla almond milk. 

But I've been hankering to try something new for awhile now. Something harnessing the best autumn spices (homemade pumpkin spice, duh!) and using less sugar. Super sweet versions of pumpkin butter kept appearing in my pinterest, facebook and google plus stream this past month, but I was turned off by the cups of sugar and and apple juice in the recipes. 

A Naturally Sweetened & Spiced Seasonal Fare 

So I decided to make my own less sweet version using a natural, unrefined sweetener--grade b maple syrup--and it turned out beautifully! As I mentioned on my facebook page, I couldn't even wait for the pumpkin butter to cool off completely before taste testing it, so I burnt my tongue. But it was totally worth it!

And now I have a slightly sweetened, warmly spiced pumpkin "butter" to spread onto toast, muffins and biscuits or stir into oatmeal. Or, to be perfectly honest, eat straight from the spoon! Right after I stick my face in the jar and take a big whiff. Mmm...cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom...

Four Other Awesome Pumpkin Recipes

After you're done reading through the pumpkin butter recipe, check out these delicious pumpkin recipes posted by the other vegetable education circle members:

Update (April 2015): Our group decided to end the monthly veggie series awhile back since we were contacted by a gal who was trademarking that phrase. I have the okay to leave these posts up as is, so feel free to browse through them for dinner inspiration. I will continue to publish vegetable side dish recipes, just not as a part of this series. :)

Check out the other veg-ucation recipes: cauliflowerzucchinicucumberHatch chilebutternut squash, and asparagus.  

How to Make Maple Spice Pumpkin Butter
Learn how to make easy homemade pumpkin butter using organic pumpkin puree, real maple syrup, lemon juice and a few spices. There's 1/2 the sugar in this recipe that's in regular pumpkin butter and it's unrefined so you benefit from the additional nutrients.
Adapted from Oh She Glows' All-Natural Pumpkin Butter From Scratch
Yield: approximately 3 1/2 cups of pumpkin butter

4 cups of organic pumpkin puree, homemade or canned (I recommend this)
1/2 cup of organic grade b maple syrup (I recommend this)
4 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (get my recipe)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (get my recipe)
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
--I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt--

Recommended Equipment
stainless steel saucepan with lid (I own this exact one!)
mason jars (for canning, fridge/freezer storage or gifts)

Mix the pumpkin puree, syrup, lemon juice, pumpkin spice, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir everything thoroughly. Turn the heat to medium-high. Once the pumpkin starts to bubble (holes will form and pockets of air will escape), set the lid on the pan at an angle. Make sure the lid is NOT on tight, but cracked (or set askew), so that the steam can filter out and the puree reduce. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Make sure the bubbles are still rising, but not as rapidly. You may need to adjust the heat slightly so that it keeps bubbling slightly. 

Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the pumpkin puree has thickened to your desired consistency. Cool completely and then store in glass jars in the fridge. This will keep up to a week in the fridge; any longer than that and I recommend freezing. Alternately, if you know how to can (lucky you!) this would be a perfect food for that. 

Notes & Tips
I haven't tried this yet (since my slow cooker is still broken), but you should be able to cook this in a crock-pot on the low setting for several hours. This might be a nice option if you have to run out and do a few errands, but it really doesn't take too long on the stove top!

More Recipes from The Rising Spoon:

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite food to pair with homemade pumpkin butter?  

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks!

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