Five Little Pumpkins Squashed In A Bowl

The change of seasons has begun and I love this time of year. Oh autumn how colourful you are. I especially love all the pumpkins everywhere. They are probably one of my favourite things. Carving pumpkins and eating pumpkin pie are some exceptionally memorable pastimes of mine. Now I am not one to go changing a good thing but I came across a recipe and thought I would give it a whirl. Pumpkin Ice Cream. It sounded a bit odd at first but then I got curious and had to try it out. I’m not going to lie, it’s unusual and I couldn’t eat it all the time but I was pretty impressed. It was a nice little treat to start off the autumn season.

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Pumpkin Ice Cream

* 4 Bananas
* 1 cup pumpkin purée
* 1/3 cup maple syrup
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg
* 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Blend all ingredients together. Freeze. Enjoy!

* may need to thaw slightly before eating
* dairy free
* no added sugar

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On Blueberry Hill

If I had to choose my favourite fruit it would be very difficult. I love fruit and I like different fruit for different reasons. Blueberries, however, are definitely a contender for the top spot. Growing up I loved going out looking for a blueberry patch and picking blueberries. Freshly picked wild blueberries are the best, especially in a bowl of cream and sugar, yum. I know not very healthy but oh so delicious, it’s a guilty pleasure that I have no control over. Another favourite treat growing up was blueberry syrup. It was great when having crêpes or pancakes. Yet it was another thing that was loaded with sugar and not all that healthy in the end. As I now try my best to live a healthier lifestyle it was something that I would need to give up. Giving things up is hard and didn’t work well for me so I came up with a better plan. Change the recipe to make it healthier and still delicious. It took a few tries to get it just right but my plan worked.

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Blueberry Syrup

* 1 1/2 cups of blueberries
* 1/3 cup of honey
* 2 Tbsp of arrowroot powder
* 1 cup of water

1. In a pot add blueberries, honey and water. While stirring constantly bring to a slow boil.

2. Mix arrowroot powder into a small bowl of water until dissolved then add to blueberry mixture.

3. Continue stirring until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

* store syrup in fridge
* can substitute blueberries for any berry
* for a thicker syrup or sauce use 3-4 Tbsp of arrowroot powder
* can substitute arrowroot powder for cornstarch or another thickener
* syrup great for pancakes or crêpes! Thicker sauce great for cheesecake and other desserts!

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Ask the Dishes

I love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It is one of my absolute favourite movies. Be Our Guest is a great scene, lots of fun colourful animation set to an upbeat song. There is one part during the song that I have always been drawn to. “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious. Don’t believe us, ask the dishes”. What is this grey stuff Lumiere refers to? Is it actually as delicious as the dishes will claim? Well to my utter amazement someone recently gave me a recipe for ‘The Grey Stuff.’ So if you are wondering if it is as delicious as Lumiere and the dishes say now you can try it for yourself.

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The Grey Stuff

1 (3.4 ounce) pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 1/2 cups Whole (or 2%) Milk
15 Oreos (regular, not double-stuffed)
1 (8 ounce) tub Whipped Topping
3 tablespoons Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
Edible Pearl Sprinkles

Directions
1. Mix entire contents of vanilla pudding mix and milk in a large bowl with a whisk. Set in fridge to chill 5-10 minutes.

2. Place Oreos in food processor and blend until they are fine crumbs (no large chunks). If you don’t have a food processor, you can place them into a large freezer bag and smash using a rolling pin. This will take a bit of time since you’ll want to get rid of all large pieces.

3. Take the pudding from the fridge and mix in the crushed Oreos. The mixture will be dark gray/black. Now, fold in the tub of whipped topping. It now is a lighter colour but not quite gray. Finally, mix in the chocolate pudding mix and stir well. You should now have “the grey stuff”! Place back in the fridge to chill for at least one hour before serving.

4. To serve, spoon into a cake decorating bag fitted with a star tip (Wilton 1 M) and swirl a dollop onto a dish. Top with a few edible pearl sprinkles. Voila! You’re done!

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

There are few things in life that I am certain about but there is one thing for sure. Dessert is a necessity. While it is a common belief that dessert can be bad for you that is not entirely true if you eat the right dessert. Most desserts have refined sugar which I like to think of as the nasty monster hiding in your kitchen cupboards. Try a dessert with a natural sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, stevia or even applesauce. You would probably be surprised that they taste just as good if not better than a dessert with refined sugar. I love dessert and experiment often to adjust recipes for a healthier choice. My latest experiment resulted in homemade banana ice cream.

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A quick and healthy recipe for any ice cream or dessert lover.

Homemade Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:
*2 cups of frozen bananas (approx. 2 bananas)
*1/3 to 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

Preparation:
Slice up bananas and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours

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Step 1:
Add 2 cups of frozen banana and 1/3 cup of milk to blender.
Step 2:
Blend until smooth.
Optional – add more milk for a creamier texture.
Step 3:
Enjoy!

For a little something different.
*add chocolate chips to your banana ice cream
*you can substitute 2 cups of bananas for 2 cups of any frozen fruit
*can substitute vanilla almond milk for the milk of your choice.