As soon as fall comes around, every grocery store is filled with amazing pumpkin products. I look forward to this time of the year because I am a big fan of pumpkin and for the past few years companies have been producing very interesting pumpkin products. Gone are the days of the simple displays of canned pumpkin. There are pumpkin cereals, pumpkin butter and pumpkin nutritional bars. This makes me extremely happy and during the fall I start to stock up on pumpkin products (I hoard really) like a squirrel preparing nuts for the winter.
Pumpkin is absolutely delicious but there are other reasons why pumpkin is awesome:
1. Pumpkin has no saturated fat or cholesterol.
2. It is high in Vitamin A, C and E–just 1 cup serving has 197% of your Vitamin A daily recommended value.
3. Pumpkin is also high in copper and potassium.
In order to enjoy pumpkin all year long, I stock up on pumpkin cans and try to ration them through spring and summer. Of course, this plan fails every year because I tend to run out of pumpkin before February with all of the pasta dishes and baking I do for my family. Luckily for me, I was cleaning out my kitchen cabinets a few days ago and saw that there was one can left under a few jars of olives and marinated artichoke hearts. Seeing this made me do a little dance. The idea of having pumpkin in July was exciting! But what to do with it? It is extremely hot, I refuse to bake right now, and there was no way that I would be able to enjoy pumpkin soup in this heat either. So I decided to make pumpkin sorbet.
I wasn’t really sure if I was going to be able to do this as I don’t have an ice cream maker but I went for it anyway. I gathered my remaining ingredients (pecans, agave nectar, almond milk, sea salt and coconut sugar) and got to work. The final texture was consistent with a firm slushy, a cool and delicious treat.
Pumpkin Pecan Sorbet
1 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin
1 cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut sugar (or your favorite sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups almond milk (coconut milk works as well)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1. Pour the milk in a pot and bring it to a boil.
2. Add the agave nectar, sugar and vanilla extract to pot and turn to low heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until sugar has completely dissolved. Stir continuously to make sure that the mixture does not burn.
3. Turn off fire and stir in pumpkin and pecans. Let cool.
4. Once the mixture is cold, place in a freezer safe container with a lid and place it in the freezer. Allow to freeze over night or five-six hours.
5. Take out and use a hand mixer for 3-5 minutes every hour for 3-4 hours. Or simply try to beat the mixture 6 times within 24 hours. You simply want to get air into your mixture and the hand blender will do just that.
6. When ready to eat, scoop out and enjoy.
*If you want to add a delicious topping, put 1 cup of pecans and ½ of a cup of agave nectar in a food processor and blend well. You can put it on right away or warm it up first–amazing!
Also by Sorina: Sweet and Salty Garbanzo Beans
More healthy treats: Raw Vegan Tiramisu
Chocolate Chip Coconut Pudding
Cherry White Chocolate Chia Parfait
Photo: Sorina Fant