When Fall comes in the northern part of the United States, it is all about pumpkin! But is it? Believe it or not, pumpkins are actually considered to be a type of squash!
Squashes and gourds are members of the Cucurbitaceae family. This is a massive plant group containing over 900 species of plants including gourds, melons, squashes and pumpkins.
There are many different kinds of squashes and gourds that you can use for cooking or decorating this fall.
The main distinction between squashes and gourds is that squashes are grown and harvested to eat, while gourds tend to be cultivated for decoration purposes.
There are winter wing gourds, warty gourds, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, blue hubbard squash, cheese squash and pumpkins.
In my opinion, having worked as a pastry chef for many years, blue hubbard squash is the best choice for desserts. I have made flan, bread pudding, pie, and waffles with blue hubbard squash purée.
Just cut it up, roast it in the oven, scoop out the pulp, purée and storage in freezer bags or small containers to have ready when you are ready to make your desserts. I usually do 1 cup portions.
So many choices, so many recipes!
Cool weather, fall leaves and comfort food. Fall is here and now let's get ready for cinnamon / pumpkin and squash flavored desserts!
Make flan with purée blue hubbard squash and it is delicious!
I made a healthier version of bread pudding. It is a great option if you need to travel with it or bring to family gatherings during the holidays.
Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice bread pudding
Makes 8-10 servings
4 cups oat milk or almond milk
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter or coconut oil or vegan butter, more for greasing pan
8 oz of pumpkin purée ( or blue hubbard squash) *
1tsp of ground cinnamon or 2 drops of cinnamon vitality essential oil
1/4 tsp of nutmeg or 1 drop of nutmeg vitality essential oil
A pinch of ground cloves or 1 drop of clove vitality essential oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1 loaf of oat bread, cut into 2-inch cubes (about 5 to 6 cups)
5 eggs, beaten
* cut and roast the blue hubbard squash on a baking ahead of time
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small saucepan over low heat, warm oat milk, vegan butter, vanilla, sugar and salt. Continue cooking just until butter melts; add the spices or essential oils and cool. Meanwhile, butter a 8-10-cup baking dish and fill it with cubed bread.
Add eggs to cooled milk mixture and whisk; pour mixture over bread. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until custard is set but still a little wobbly and edges of bread have browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For the dairy free option you may drizzle some dairy free caramel sauce made with coconut milk.
What is your favorite dessert family recipe?
Leave us a comment, maybe together we can find ways to make a healthier version of it.
Fuel your body with the right foods for a more energetic body!
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