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.


Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Salsa

Here’s a simple recipe that can be put together super fast for one of those days when you  have no idea what to have for dinner! This salsa is light and fresh with a spicy note from the cayenne pepper! For a dinner idea, enjoy it with whole wheat or gluten-free pasta with a drizzle of olive oil or mixed with cooked beans and topped with sauteed greens for a hearty dinner meal..or it’s perfect as a dip with crunchy crackers or tortilla’s.

  • 1 small jar canned artichokes, rinsed & drained (6.5 oz)
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers, rinsed & drained  (~12 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired texture is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If I hand cilantro on hand, it would be a great addition. If you prefer a milder salsa, decrease the amount of cayenne pepper or omit it all together.