I’m a pumpkin fanatic. There I said it. Yes…I know we’re a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t make my love for pumpkin any less real. I’m on a mission to add pumpkin to just about everything I can think of while it’s seasonally appropriate. (Check out this post for reference)
Many of the pumpkin items made available this time of year are sweets and delectable baked goodies. While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, sometimes just giving a little pumpkin upgrade to the basics is all you need! Hence my combination of two of my favorite things: homemade cashew butter & pumpkin.
If you’ve never tried cashew butter on it’s own, you haven’t lived. It’s creamy, almost has a sweet aftertaste, and is a delicious change from your basic peanut butter. Pumpkin butter is of those special fall seasonal toppings that makes you warm and happy inside, however, it’s usually loaded with sugar. Well, leave it up to me to make a healthier version available for you to try on your own and impress your friends with.
Pumpkin isn’t just a colorful additive to fall baking and sugary coffee drinks. It actually offers a lot of nutrients! Just like all other orange veggies, it’s rich in fiber and the antioxidant beta carotene. Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, which helps our bodies maintain good eyesight, a strong immune system, healthy skin and mucous membranes (think mouth, nose, lungs, and your digestive system here).
While we’re talking nutrition, cashews are an awesome source of unsaturated fats. The macronutrient breakdown for cashews is about 46% fat, 21% protein, and 25% carbs. That means for a 1/4 cup serving, you’d get 5 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat and 8 grams of carbs. I only mention this because nuts are very commonly mistaken as a protein. While they do contain protein, they are primarily made up of fat, and therefore pretty energy dense, which is why being mindful of your portions is helpful.
Trust me, I know from experience that it’s REALLY easy to eat more than just 1 serving of nuts…especially when they are in nut butter form! :P If you’re curious about how to figure out a serving size that’s appropriate for you, message me and we can chat. ;)
Pumpkin Spice Maple Cashew Butter
- 6 cups raw unsalted cashews (I find it's most cost -effective to buy nuts from bulk bins at my local Sprouts Market)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (from a can or from the flesh of a cooked sugar pumpkin)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 - 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (add more to taste if you love these spices as much as I do!)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional - if you don’t want the sweetness, try adding 1-2 tsp maple extract)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
Add all ingredients to high powered blender like VitaMix or food processor and blend until smooth. Use it as a topping for greek yogurt or ice cream, spread it on your favorite toast, it's even delicious on a sweet potato. Let's be real though, it's tasty enough to eat off a spoon.
This may take a bit of stop and start action while you use a plunger or scraper to help get all the ingredients combined. Little taste tests along the way are encouraged to adjust the spice, salt and sweetness level.
Pro tip: just add a little of any ingredient at a time. It’s very easy to over salt/spice, and near impossible to fix it without adding more and more nuts & pumpkin. :)
- Don’t expect this to be quite as dry as your typical nut butter. With the addition of pumpkin, it will be a little more tacky and spreadable.
- This was for a pretty big batch - it made about 3 cups of nut butter. You can either cut the ingredients in half to make a smaller portion, or give them away as gifts to people you want to love you forever.
That’s all she wrote! Tell me what you’re doing with pumpkin this season or make requests for healthier versions of your favorite pumpkin recipes and I’ll happily get to experimenting on your behalf! If you try this out or have any special requests, use #jeannereillyrd to show me your handiwork!
Thanks as always for following me on Insta/Twitter/Facebook and sharing me with all your friends, family, coworkers and strangers on the street. :) I’m have availability for new clients at the moment, so if you or anyone you know is looking for a nutrition coach, send them my way!