Pumpkinhead Cupcakes (The Leftovers Club)

2014-11-02 21.00.38

It’s rare that I make a dessert for The Low-Acid Kitchen that doesn’t try to mask whole-wheat flour, do without oil, or otherwise be very healthy. These cupcakes are a true dessert, though, and they’re a treat with their light texture and delicious spice blend. They’re naturally moist from the pumpkin puree, and the fat content isn’t problematic if you eat only one. This recipe also includes a secret ingredient: Shipyard Pumpkinhead, my favorite autumn ale.

2014-11-02 19.11.21

The key to keeping this dessert heartburn-friendly is to omit the frosting. Cream cheese frosting would be fantastic on these, but it’s not necessary. I topped each cupcake with shredded coconut instead of frosting, and the pop of sweetness and texture was the perfect finish. The part of the coconut that isn’t directly touching the cake gets browned and crispy and is divine!

I sent these cupcakes to Ginger of Stark Raving Delicious for The Leftovers Club. She made me a moist and well-spiced pumpkin loaf, and I wanted to reply with a seasonal treat. If you love to bake and want to receive goodies in the mail each month, consider joining Ginger and me in The Leftovers Club.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • a few dashes of cloves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2014-11-02 19.19.45

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and add paper liners to a standard cupcake tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugars, oil, vanilla, egg, pumpkin, and beer. Stir until smooth.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in several batches into the wet ingredients, and stir until all lumps have disappeared. 2014-11-02 19.21.55
  5. Fill each cupcake liner with a scant 1/4 cup of batter. Sprinkle each cake with coconut, and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

2014-11-02 20.41.34

Makes 12. Active time 10 minutes; total time 26 to 28 minutes. Adapted from http://shipyard.com/article/pumpkinhead-cupcakes

Boloco: Make Your Own Bowl or Burrito

IMG_5358

If you live in New England, Boloco is probably already on your radar. Its burritos come in flavors inspired by many cuisines—you could call them wraps, really, since only a couple of the choices are typical Mexican fare. Their menu has many options for those trying to avoid heartburn.

The best option for GERD is to make your own bowl or burrito. Walk down the ingredient line to see what’s there, as it can be tough to find all of the options just by reading the menu. My most recent bowl (pictured here) featured quinoa, baby kale, broccoli, chicken, black beans, corn salsa, carrots, cilantro, and cheese. I also recommend the roasted mushrooms, butternut squash, carnitas, celery, pinto beans, beets, cucumbers, and brown rice.

I didn’t put a sauce on this particular bowl because the ingredients have so much flavor. The Thai peanut and tikka masala sauces are both delicious, but you’ll want to order them on the side and use sparingly to spare your throat.

Sometimes I order a mini burrito so I can save room for a shake. The Jimmy Carter (peanut butter, banana, and yogurt) is my favorite, but the seasonal pumpkin shake is a welcome treat as well. Boloco is a restaurant WIN in many ways!

Pumpkin-Applesauce Muffins

2014-10-15 18.51.06

Looking for a good use for a little bit of canned pumpkin? This recipe uses only half a cup, and it’s combined with applesauce for sweetness. I tried several variations on this recipe, and this version had the best texture. Adding chopped apples never led to a good result, but use chunky applesauce if you’re looking for a bit of fruit in your muffins.

These are low in fat, and the sprinkle of pumpkin seeds makes them feel special. If you don’t have any seeds, though, chopped almonds would work just as well. Either crunchy topping will complement the spices and the soft, carby muffin goodness.

2014-10-15 18.13.22

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat white flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

2014-10-15 18.20.02

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly. Mix in the oil, pumpkin, applesauce, milk, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices until blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until incorporated.
  4. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle the surface of each with pumpkin seeds, and press them gently into the surface of the batter with your fingers. 2014-10-15 18.24.05
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Makes 12. Active time 15 minutes; total time 35 minutes. Adapted from http://www.hannaford.com/recipe/Sunny-Double-Apple-Muffins/11102.uts#

Pumpkin & White Bean Bisque

IMG_5422

Spring has sprung, according to the calendar, but in New England that’s a technicality. Mornings, evenings, and sometimes days are chilly, and a hot bowl of soup is as welcome as it was in the winter. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for months, and based on the forecast, I didn’t have to rush to get it in ahead of warmer weather.

This soup has the silkiest texture. It’s the only soup I’ve made that I would call a bisque! The combination of pumpkin, pureed beans, and milk is so smooth and feels professionally crafted. I chose to spice it with sage, thyme, and onion powder; cumin or basil would also be interesting. Either way, you can make this soup a bit richer by adding a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to each bowl.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 15.5-oz can white beans
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander

IMG_5415

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the sage and thyme and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the stock, beans, pumpkin, and onion powder. Raise the heat until the soup comes to a bubble, and then put it back to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and parsley. Remove the pot from heat and puree the soup well with an immersion blender. IMG_5417
  4. Return the pot to low heat. Add the milk, vinegar, and coriander; stir and heat through. Serve topped with parsley and more salt to taste.

Serves 4. Active time 20 minutes; total time 30 minutes. Adapted from http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2013/11/pumpkin-and-white-bean-bisque-with-sage-pesto-and-dill-rolls.html

Spiced Pumpkin & Coconut Soup

IMG_4846

The spice blend and a bit of light coconut milk make this soup Thai inspired. The flavor blend is interesting and strong enough that it’s not immediately clear that the soup is pumpkin based. That means you can serve it any season of the year, not just in pumpkin season!

Coconut milk is delicious, but it gives my heartburn a lot of grief. I use the light version, which has less than half the fat of regular, but I still had trouble with the original half-cup of coconut milk in this recipe. Downgrading to a quarter-cup solved the problem, but it does take away some of the richness. You’ll have to test it and see what works for you.

This soup is thick without being cream-based. It’s possible to puree it completely, but I like to leave some small chunks, particularly of the apples. If you prefer it to be completely smooth, I recommend peeling the apple and adding 10 extra minutes to the final simmering time. Then go nuts with your immersion blender.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Gala apple, diced small
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 15-oz can plain pumpkin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • salt
  • parsley and sliced almonds for garnish

IMG_4837

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with foil and cooking spray. Add carrots and apples, spray surfaces with cooking spray, and roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium, and saute celery for 5 minutes. Add spices, sugar, broth, and pumpkin and stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in the roasted carrots and apples, and bring the mixture to a boil. Drop the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk.
  4. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with parsley and sliced almonds as garnish.

IMG_4840

Serves 4. Adapted from http://www.hellawella.com/hellawella-recipe-indian-roasted-pumpkin-soup/2514