Pumpkin-flavored drinks and desserts are everywhere this time of year, often adding unwanted calories with surprisingly little real pumpkin. But you don’t have to miss out on pumpkin’s nutrients — vitamin A along with a good amount of vitamin C and fiber — if you cook with it at home.
Unlike other squashes that are smaller and easier to roast, pumpkins can be unwieldy. For convenience, it’s fine to use canned pumpkin in recipes — it has just as much nutrition as fresh pumpkin without all the work.
Mashed pumpkin makes a great side dish, but if the filling of a pumpkin pie is your pleasure, this recipe should truly satisfy you.
Creamy Pumpkin Mousse With Pecans
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 packet gelatin
- 1 cup 100% canned pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Place the half-and-half and water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle surface with gelatin and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes until ripples begin to form. This is called “blooming” the gelatin. It ensures that there won’t be any clumping and the mousse will come out smooth.
Place the saucepan over medium-low heat to warm the half-and-half and melt the gelatin.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then place it in a blender, along with the pumpkin, honey and cinnamon. Process until smooth.
Divide into two glasses and top with pecans. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Yield: 2 servings
Learn more about the nutrients in pumpkin at the University of Illinois Extension.
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