It is pumpkin harvest time! Did you know that pumpkin is packed with healthy benefits? Here are just a handful of the benefits you get from pumpkin: (source: net doctor.co.uk)
- Pumpkin helps sleep and mood: Pumpkin seeds in particular are an excellent source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is converted to serotonin, a chemical associated with healthy sleep and happiness.
- Pumpkin contains heart healthy nutrients: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of phytoestrogens, plant-derived compounds that when incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle, have been shown to manage cholesterol and improve heart health.
- Pumpkin is an immunity booster: Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and zinc, all of these antioxidants strengthen the immune system. Pumpkin also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant plant pigment that gives pumpkin its bright orange colour.
Spiced-Pumpkin Coffee Shake
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup crushed ice
In a small saucepan, heat milk, pumpkin, sugar and pie spice until bubbles form around sides of pan and sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a bowl; stir in coffee and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
Place milk mixture, ice cream and ice in a blender; cover and process until blended. Serve immediately with whipped cream; sprinkle with additional pie spice. Yield: 6 servings.
Source: Taste of Home
Pumpkin Spiced Iced Coffee
FOR THE PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP:
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar or pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 4 3-inch cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon whole cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
FOR THE PUMPKIN SPICE ICED COFFEE:
- Plain ice cubes or coffee ice cubes
- 1 cup cold-brewed iced coffee concentrate
- 1/2 cup water (or skip the water and go with more iced coffee concentrate – your preference)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice syrup (or more or less, to taste)
- Half and half or your favorite non-dairy coffee creamer (I like my homemade cashew milk coffee creamer in this; coconut or almond milk creamer would also work wonderfully)
- Freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg) or ground cinnamon for topping
MAKE PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP:
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat then let it cool to room temperature.
- If using whole spices, drain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the solids. Transfer syrup to a lidded jar or bottle. Keeps, refrigerated, for one month. Shake before using.
MAKE PUMPKIN SPICE ICED COFFEE:
- Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add cold brew coffee concentrate, water if using, creamer of choice, and pumpkin spice syrup. Stir. Sprinkle nutmeg and/or cinnamon over the top.
Source: Kitchen Treaty
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.
Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Source: Food Network