Leftover Pumpkin Puree?

If you butchered and baked your Halloween pumpkins or stocked up on the canned stuff as it went on sale before Thanksgiving, you probably have pumpkin puree leftover from preparing America’s favorite dinner. You could whip up a batch of my pumpkin super food muffins or incorporate the puree into a savory application.


I introduced my creamy vegetable pasta sauce to you with the loved and loathed eggplant. At the time, I hadn’t tried the formula with another vegetable, so I wasn’t sure how this pumpkin sauce would turn out. I’m happy to report that it was a success! I served it atop pasta to the guests at my Thanksgiving dinner (which we hosted early because my mom was in town visiting her newest grandson) and it was the most-talked-about dish of the evening.

If you have a blender and a box of pasta, you’re ready for this decadent and healthful pumpkin “cream” sauce to make an appearance at your next dinner. I’m using oat milk in today’s cashew cream, one of the sauce’s star ingredients. Oat milk is naturally on the sweeter side of plant milks, so it compliments pumpkin nicely, as we are often used to using it in sweeter culinary concoctions. Bonus: One serving of this particular oat milk will provide you over a third of your recommended daily calcium and two grams of dietary fiber. Not bad.


Scoop up your leftover pumpkin and put this quick and easy dinner together in minutes. Nutritious—especially if you use a whole grain or vegetable pasta—and resourceful, I’m happy to help you use every bit of your leftover Thanksgiving eats. Enjoy!


Makes sauce for 1 box of pasta*

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped raw vegetables –> I used 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree. (This translates to approximately 2 cups of raw chopped vegetables, since it is already cooked and pureed down.)
  • ½ cup cashew cream (soak raw cashews overnight and blend with just enough water/plant milk/veggie stock to form a thick cream) –> Because pumpkin has a strong flavor, I used extra cashew cream: 1 cup cashews + 1 ½ cups oat milk.
  • 2 tbsps nutritional yeast –> I opted out of this, figuring it didn’t mesh well with pumpkin. It worked out, but for most other vegetables, I would include it.
  • 1 tbsp acid (i.e. vinegar, mustard, citrus juice, etc.) –> I used whole grain mustard.
  • ¼-1 tsp seasoning (i.e. fresh/dried herbs, spices, etc.) –> I used ½ tsp dried sage and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg.
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste –> I used ½ tsp salt and about 4 turns pepper.

Peel (if necessary) and chop your vegetables. Steam, roast, or boil to cook. While your vegetables are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare your pasta of choice. When the vegetables are finished, combine with all other ingredients (except the pasta, of course!) in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.


DSC_2572Pour atop your pasta (or use in another application) and enjoy immediately for most desirable consistency. It will keep just fine in the fridge, but will dry out a bit.




Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

First of all, it’s been a little slow on The Fresh Formula because…I am now a mother of two! Oliver Ryan was born on Sunday at 36 weeks. Although he is healthy and happy and we are home from the hospital now, I wasn’t totally ready for an early arrival, and thus, unable to get to blogging for the past week. More to come on the newest love of my life…

Secondly, despite appearances, these muffins aren’t burnt. Their chocolatey color comes from the incorporation of dark molasses as a sweetener. After recently making a pumpkin spice cake that included molasses, I decided to try it out with my super food muffins. The rich flavor of molasses pairs nicely with pumpkin and its typical spice blend.

Since we’re on the subject, molasses is a super food, too. Despite being essentially a “waste” product of producing white granulated sugar, molasses maintains nutrients that the refined stuff does not. In addition to what you see on the product label below, molasses, like agave syrup, has a low glycemic index, which is important in reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes. Molasses is also high in antioxidants and has a subtler sweet flavor than other sweeteners. Personally, having followed a plant-based lifestyle for going on four years, I find super sweet food products too rich, so molasses is the perfect sweetener for me.


So, again, I chose molasses because I am pairing it with pumpkin. Pumpkin puree—not pumpkin pie filling, ya’ll—is a powerhouse of vitamin A and also contains high levels of fiber and iron. ‘Tis the season to find these gourds everywhere, so if you’re up for the challenge, you can butcher and puree your own. Travis and I have done it and even made pumpkin milk from the seeds! Otherwise, you’re looking for canned pumpkin that contains nothing else (particularly sugar, fat, and salt).


Anywho, just in time for Halloween, you can devour these pumpkin muffins for breakfast or bring them to Thanksgiving dinner if you’re in charge of dinner rolls. 🙂 Enjoy!


Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup flour –> I’m using whole wheat.
  • 1 cup cooked small grains (e.g. quinoa, kaniwa, millet, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup sweetener –> I’m using molasses.
  • 1/8 cup oil –> I’m using coconut, melted.
  • 1 cup raw (fresh or frozen) fruit or veggie –> I’m using ¾ cup pumpkin puree + ¼ cup chopped, raw pecans.
  • 1-1 ¼ cups unsweetened plant milk –> I’m using ¾ almond, which is less than usual since the puree adds a bit of water to the batter.
  • 3 tbsps seeds (e.g. chia, hemp, poppy, flax, etc.)
  • ½-1 tsp extract (amount will depend on flavor intensity) –> I’m using 1 tsp homemade vanilla.
  • ½-1 tsp spices –> I’m using ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp each cardamom and cloves. All spices are ground.
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (optional) –> I’m not using it.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Separately combine all of the dry ingredients and all of the wet ingredients. In this case, the wet ingredients include the pumpkin puree, too.


Pour the wet into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon. The batter will be thick and lumpy, but you can always add more plant milk if it seems too dry or dough-like. Spoon the batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes.


Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.