October 28, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Dip + Muffins from Another Kitchen

Every Thursday night I head to Youga Yoga (one of the studios where I teach) for Yogatluck (yoga + potluck).  As the name implies, we always start with a yoga class around 7:30, and then we have an amazingly scrumptious potluck afterwards.  Seriously, the food is always awesome at this event!  Each week the food theme changes, and I must say, I have been waiting for this week's theme since we arrived in Corpus: PUMPKIN!

I eat pumpkin year 'round.  But, during the fall, I just can't get enough of the orange, creamy stuff!  I stir it in oatmeal, add it in smoothies, mix it in pudding, add it on sandwiches (trust me on this one!), but never in a million years did I think I would be adding it to, of all things, hummus.

Wait!  Where are you going?!

Don't run away! 

I promise you, spiced pumpkin hummus really is fantastic! 

(Although, I must admit, I did sort of fool you with the title of this post.  I figured if I came right out and told you this post was about spiced pumpkin hummus you wouldn't even give me a chance to explain.)

But please, here me out on this one!

I assure you that I am telling the truth when I say that I received over half a dozen compliments on my recipe last night.  Every last dollop was devoured before I even had the chance to bring it back home for personal snacking.  And yes, that makes me a little sad :(

So what's in this magical orange concoction of creaminess?  Well, I have to admit that I was a little worried as I was throwing all of these ingredients into my food processor.  But as I have previously mentioned, the final result was YUMM-O!

Spiced Pumpkin Hummus (roughly adapted from here)
Serves 10-15 (2T per serving)

1 can Great Northern beans
1 C pumpkin
1//4 C raw almond butter
2 T grapeseed oil (or other subtle oil)
3 T maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/16 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt


Put all of the ingredients into your food processor and let it run for approximately two minutes.  It will appear to be mixed after about thirty seconds, but the longer you let the processor do its job the creamier your hummus will get.  So let it rip...or should I say whirl?

At the Yogatluck, we ate the spiced pumpkin dip with crackers and apple slices.  But this dip is very adaptable.  On the one hand, it works great with savory flavors such as crackers and celery,  but it also complements sweeter foods such as fruit or muffins.  I would love to feature this dip on an apple and cheese sandwich (trust me!), or spread it onto a sweet bread such as gingerbread or coffee cake. 

In addition to the spiced pumpkin dip, I also brought "The Best Pumpkin Muffins" (recipe from Post Punk Kitchen) to the Yogatluck.

My blog is evidence of my love for creating new recipes, but if there is one area where I feel uncomfortable creating a new recipe, it is baking.  Baking is such a science...which, ironically, is one of the things I love most about baking.  If you follow the directions to-the-"t" everything turns out exactly as it should.  There is no room for guesswork.  It is exact.  Baking is a controlled science (go figure that I would be drawn to that! HA!).  Therefore, because I don't understand the scientific principles that dictate very specific ratios of certain ingredients, I don't feel comfortable creating my own baking recipes just yet.  For now, I turn to some of my faithful blog friends to apply their delectable inspiritation in my own kitchen.
These muffins lived up to their name!  They were sweet - but not too sweet, spicy - but not too spicy, and moist - but not crumbly.  Here is a picture of the batter:

And of the muffins, pre-baked:

And post-baked, while cooling (I don't have a cooling rack, so I just use one of the oven racks):

Only two of these beauties remained at the end of last night's Yogatluck, so for breakfast this morning Bo and I each had one smothered in Smart Balance.  My tummy is still saying "thank you" :)

I also had a homemade, vanilla-maple hot chocolate with my muffin.  But, more on that yumminess in a future post...maybe tomorrow?!

Question of the Day:

Do you enjoy cooking?  If so, is there a food (or types of food) that you are hesitant to make because the technique seems too daunting?

Ally and Bo

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