Isn’t it nice that pumpkin seems to be in the culinary spotlight for chefs and home cooks lately? 5 years ago if you asked anyone on the street how to serve pumpkin the answer would have been simply pumpkin pie. Not anymore. We have rediscovered this healthy food of our forefathers and are incorporating it now more than ever.  And as an added bonus, nutritionists are now calling pumpkin a superfood – something nature has known for a long time

Getting ready to juice some pumpkins!Pumpkin is super rich in vitamins and minerals; just 100 grams of fresh pumpkin boasts 100% of our daily vitamin A requirement. Pumpkins also provide lots of vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, foliate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.  And that’s just the fruit of the pumpkin! The seeds are also packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium and are high in omegas 3’s. Pumpkin seeds are also a known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and have high levels of Tryptophan; which aids in helping you to relax and sleep better. And the list goes on and on. This fall I’m making it my personal mission to incorporate fresh pumpkin into as many of our meals as possible.

Recently I used my Ronco Smart Juicer to make pumpkin juice. I decided to use baby pumpkins because they are easier to cut and I am able to juice just the right amount.

To make the pumpkin juice, I soaked the baby pumpkins in some cold water with a couple of tablespoons of distilled white vinegar for about 5 minutes. The white vinegar helps to remove any residual pesticides and clean the pumpkin skin. To juice the pumpkins, I simply cut them into 1-inch segments and juiced the whole thing; skin, seeds and all. One baby pumpkin will yield 4-6 ounces of juice.

Yummy, frothy pumpkin juice.Of course you can have pumpkin juice alone or mix it with your other juicing foods, but I decided to spice things up with a little spiced rum and make a fresh pumpkin cocktail!  The healthy pumpkin will balance out the not so healthy rum, right? These Spiced Pumpkin Pie Cocktails are rich and make for a good dessert cocktail. The kids enjoyed a non-alcoholic version as well; my 13 year old told me that it tasted like a Frappuccino.

Spiced Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
Yields 2 cocktails

Ingredients

  • 12-ounces fresh pumpkin juice straight from the Smart Juicer
  • 1-ounce grand marnier
  • 2-ounces spiced rum
  • 4-ounces half and half
  • 2-ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • Small splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/8-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Garnish

  • Whipped cream
  • Pinch pumpkin pie spice
  • Dried Cranberries

Directions

  1. Spiced Pumpkin Pie CocktailsJuice your pumpkins. You will need about 3 baby pumpkins to yield about 12 ounces of juice.
  2. Combine all cocktail ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Lightly shake and place in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes to chill.
  3. Remove from freezer and shake vigorously to combine and make cocktail a little frothy. Stirring certainly works too if you don’t have a cocktail shaker.
  4. Divide between 2 martini glasses. Garnish with a little whipped cream, a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and top with a few dried cranberries.

Cheers to the coming of fall and pumpkins!