For many, the transition of seasons—from the balmy days of summer to the crisper air and falling leaves of autumn and finally to the stark onset of winter—brings about a complementary shift in cravings. The colder, shortened, and slower paced days often arouse our appetites toward denser, more satisfying foods as our bodies are signaled to store up for the long winter ahead. Of course, we would prefer to have the comforting foods we crave love us back just a bit more by not leaving behind a souvenir or any extra baggage come winter’s end.
Not unlike many seasonal bakers and cooks who welcome the holiday season each year did I recognize the need to create a gratifying and guiltless dessert, and thus set out on a mission when I entered the kitchen to whip up this indulging treat!
Sure, it may seem decadent, but don’t let your taste buds fool you; with the immune boosting, beta-carotene loaded, and vitamin C filled punch that this flavorful pudding packs, your cells will also be rejoicing for the array of nutrients that come along with this dish. Give it a try, take it to a party, or savor it all to yourself, and leave a comment if you enjoy it as much as I do on a cold winter’s eve.
Without further ado, here’s the step-by-step process of making this tasty dish.
Healthy Yummy Squash Pudding
- 1 butternut squash or other non-pumpkin flavored yellow-meat squash (a couple delicata or 1 sweet dumpling squash work well also)
- 1 can or equal amount of homemade coconut milk (full-fat preferred for all the benefits of those MCT’s!)
- Ample amounts of pumpkin pie spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, etc. to your taste (I also add turmeric for anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or about 20 drops or so of liquid stevia extract
- Optional superfood flavorings for extra depth: 1–2 tablespoons lucuma and/or maca powder
- Optional protein boost: 1 scoop of Sunwarrior, Warrior Blend vanilla (adds a smooth texture and extra satiation factor!)
- Dash of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- 1–2 teaspoons agar agar powder or other vegan gelling agent substitute to set (optional; could sub ground chia, flaxseed, etc.)
2. In a medium saucepan, combine squash and coconut milk. If one can isn’t enough to cover squash, add a slight bit of spring water until just barely covered. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a slight boil.
3. Reduce heat once mixture begins to boil and cover, cooking on low heat or simmer until the squash is soft enough where a fork will pierce through easily.
4. Remove from heat, let cool slightly for several minutes, and pour the mixture into a blender. Add remaining ingredients, and blend on high until smooth, adjusting taste and sweetness as needed.
5. Pour into bowls or ramekins and place into the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to set.
6. Dust with cinnamon, and enjoy!
Note: To add a Mid-Eastern twist celebrating my heritage and to add reminiscent notes of the flavorful treats of my youth, I like to add a pinch of saffron into the squash coconut milk mixture while it cooks and 1 teaspoon or capful or rosewater to the blender. A delicate and exotic taste that anyone who is keen on either of those flavorings will enjoy!
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