Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pumpkin Squares

Here in Brussels, Fall has begun to make her appearance. Last night, while cleaning up from a yummy dinner (Sweet Potato fries, Tofu Cubes and Corn on the Cob), Kevin, Aodhan and I watched a storm soak our back garden. Personally, I have always loved the chillier days of Fall, and welcome them and their soup-squash-stew-casserole-promises.

To match the weather I made some little pumpkin squares. Using my last can of sacred pumpkin (almost impossible to find here in Brussels), I made this really healthy treat, which allowed me to sneak in some important walnuts (EFA's for Aodhan's ever-growing brain), and some hemp seeds for me. I will be making this improv dish over and over again - a great snack!

Pumpkin Squares
2 cups of walnuts
1 cup of pecans
2 tbsp of crushed hemp seeds
3/4 cup of oats
1/2 cup of flour (I used 85% whole meal)
1/2 cup of oil (you could omit the oil/flour/oats and make a 100% raw crust by adding some soaked dates and chilling the crust rather then baking it)

1 can of pumpkin (ok, I didn't use a FULL can, I had skimmed a bit off the top for my oatmeal in the morning)
1/2 of maple syrup
1/4 of agave syrup
1/2 cup of arrowroot powder
3/4 of almond milk

I made the crust first - adding all the nutty ingredients in the food processor and pulsing for about 30 seconds. I added my oil, flour and oats and pulsed for a further 30 seconds. I pressed this into the bottom of a 10 inch brownie tin and popped it into the oven for 15 minutes, while I made the filling.

The filling wasd dead easy. I washed out the food processor (god, I really want a kitchen aid) and added the arrowroot and milk first, giving it a minute to mix together. I then simply added the remaining ingredients and pulsed for 45 seconds. I added the filling to the baked crust and slammed the whole thing in the 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.

This treat is NOT super sweet by any account...so if you are wanting something a little more sugary then up your maple or agave syrups in the recipe, or add a little maple syrup to the top when serving. Yum Yum.

In non-food related news, Aodhan turned 12 weeks yesterday. I can't believe 12 weeks has floated by since he was born. Kevin and I were commenting the other day that we just can't imagine our lives without him in it. He is rapidly losing all signs of newborn 'ness' and seems to develop new skills everyday.

He is smiling like mad, talking (with lots of goos, ahhhs and ohhhs), holds his head like a champ, does fine stuff during tummy time, bats his toys, tries so hard to lift his shoulders and head as if to sit up, and kicks like crazy when he is lying down. He has already had (still does a touch) a first cold, thanks to his daddy going back to the germ factory of school, and seems to be dealing better with his reflux.

I am a lucky mummy and actually sleep more now then I ever did in my pre-mummy days (when I was asleep by about 10 and up at around 5). Now, I fall asleep around 9 - 9 30 and Aodhan doesn't really wake up until about 9 30 the next day. There are about 3 night feeds, but bed sharing and breast feeding mean that I don't really do much waking in order to accomodate Aodhan's chilled out needs. He is amazing. I just can't get enough of him. I have even been able to start back at the gym, and am retraining my body to run my first post-baby race on October 11th (a BreastCancer run). I am loving mummyhood! Oh, and for any other vegan women out there who are thinking about pregnancy and their lifestyle, check out The Mother. My article on Vegan Pregancy is in their September/October issue.

Speaking of mummies....I am so excited to be flying home for Christmas to see my mommy! We weren't going to fly, but we decided that Aodhan's first Christmas should be spent with family and friends. I can't wait to get home and see my family and celebrate all the great things that have happened this year - Aodhan, my brother's wedding, my mom's new job, my sister's general awesomeness!

Have a Happy Vegan day everyone!