It’s fall and that means pumpkin spice flavored everything. Wouldn’t it be great though if all this pumpkin spice craziness actually included some good old, real life pumpkin? That’s right, you’re pumpkin spice [fill in the blank] likely contains spices commonly added to pumpkin pie (if you’re lucky) along with some yummy orange coloring, but no pumpkin in sight. It’s a shame too because pumpkin is a pretty sweet addition to any diet.
This porridge recipe indulges that pumpkin spice craving, with plenty of real, honest-to-goodness pumpkin, a little sweetness and a seriously delicious, crunchy topping. It is deceptively simple to make even on a weekday, but feels special enough for Sunday morning.
Make the Maple Rosemary Crunch on its own and you have yourself a sweet and healthy snack or quick dessert. While the recipe makes more than you need to top your porridge, I think you will welcome the leftovers.
Pumpkins get their vibrant hue from high levels of carotenoids. Carotenoid-rich foods have been shown to be protective against cancer, especially of the lung and heart disease. This along with its unique combination of B-vitamins and pectins help stabilize blood sugar, protecting against type-2 diabetes. Of all the winter squashes—including acorn, butternut, Hubbard and spaghetti—pumpkin was shown to be the most protective.
Right now is the best time to pick up local organic sugar pumpkins. I recommend picking up a couple and trying your hand at roasting your own. It’s super simple and you’ll find the flavor much cleaner than canned. That being said, you can sub canned pumpkin puree in this recipe, just make sure it’s 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix.
If you pick up a fresh pumpkin, the tough skin allows for a fairly long storage life, up to six months if stored in a cool place away from excess moisture. Use this wonderful seasonal veg (although technically a fruit) in other ways than the usual Thanksgiving pie and you won’t be disappointed. Pumpkin is also quite tasty cut into chunks and roasted or added to soups and stews.
Hopefully you haven’t tired of all this pumpkin spice craziness. At least not until you’ve given this warming bowl of goodness a go. Enjoy!
 Murray, Michael and Pizzorno, Joseph. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, Atria Books. 2005 p.235. Print