Fall Harvest Pumpkin Mousse

I love all kinds of pumpkin recipes in the fall…pumpkin bread, muffins, pancakes, pumpkin bars…what are your favorites? What’s so great about cooking with pumpkin is that it’s flavor is pretty neutral. I’ve used it in various baking recipes to cut down on fat and you wouldn’t even know it was in the dish. You can sweeten up it’s flavor with warming spices of clove, ginger, nutmeg, and/or allspice or turn it into a more savory dish with curry spices such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, and coriander. Well, I decided to just make a simple mousse and top it with candied pumpkin seeds for an extra burst of vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin is already high in vitamin A and the seeds are full of various minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorous, and copper…they all help to keep the immune system strong and are important for growth and development. Overall, this recipe is full of good for you nutrients!

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (full-fat or lite)
  • 3-4 dates (depending upon your preference of sweetness)
  • 1- 15-ounce can organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon organic cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed

In a medium-sized pan, heat the coconut milk and dates over low to medium heat until dates become soft and breakdown. Remove from heat.

In a high-powered blender, add the coconut milk/date mixture and remainder ingredients. Blend on high until ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Divide into 4 ramekins or wine glasses. Prepare candied pumpkin seed, recipe below.

When pumpkin seeds are ready and cool enough to handle, break apart and garnish the mousse with them. If desired, top mousse with a dollop of coconut whip and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg! Enjoy!

To make candied pumpkin seeds:

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Over low to medium heat, add the pumpkin seeds to a skillet and toast until puffed up and golden brown. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, toss until combined. Spread pumpkin seeds out onto a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake the pumpkin seeds in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until seeds are toasted and sugar is caramelized. Allow seeds to cool; store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes: 1 cup

Copyright 2010, J. Usdavin, Original recipe.

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Roasted Fall Veggies

Roasted veggies are probably one of my all-time favorite ways to enjoy various fall vegetables that are in peak season. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, sweet potatoes…hmmm what else! The caramelized flavor, the golden brown color, and the little crispy bits that get stuck to the pan, if someone doesn’t like a certain veggie – have them try it roasted and see if they like it! The veggies can be roasted in so many different ways, Italian seasonings, curry seasonings, sometimes I just prefer sea salt and pepper, or the veggies can even be mixed with Dijon mustard and then roasted. What are your favorite spices and/or herbs to use when roasting veggies?

Roasted Fall Veggies

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli pieces
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into pieces
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sliced in half
  • 2 beets, washed and chopped into cubes
  • 1 sweet potato, washed and chopped into cubes
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Your favorite spices/herbs (I like thyme and cumin seeds ~ 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon coconut oil and a tablespoon of water with the broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Toss until veggies are coated with the oil. Arrange veggies on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper and half of your spice and/or herb mixture.

Using the same bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of water with the beets and sweet potatoes. Toss until veggies are coated with oil mixture. Arrange on another baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your remaining spice and/or herb mixture.

Note: The veggies can be roasted at a higher temperature, but I prefer to keep the temp. at 350 degrees b/c any higher than that and the coconut oil will surpass it’s smoke point.

The sweet potatoes and beet tray may be placed in the oven first for a 20-minute head-start before placing the other tray in the oven. Once both trays are in oven, bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until veggies are fork-tender and golden brown.

Walnut Crusted Wild Salmon

  • 1 lb fresh wild salmon
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1-2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a plastic ziplock bag, add the walnuts and Cajun seasoning. Using a rolling pin, crush the walnuts until fine crumbs form. This is my quick method but a food processor will work as well.

Place the salmon in a baking dish and add a bit of water to cover the bottom of the pan. Press the seasoned walnut mixture onto the salmon (sprinkle sea salt over the fish if desired) and bake in the oven until salmon is done and flakes easily with a fork (a rule of thumb is about 10 minutes for each 1″ thickness of the filet).

Serve the salmon over a bed of greens with a side of roasted vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes) and enjoy!