When the days become shorter and the leaves start to fall, thoughts travel to apple picking and pumpkin patches. It’s an Autumn ritual; a tradition that marks the years for our family.  We’ve missed a few, and sometimes have just made it to the grocery store pumpkin stand.  But the intention is always there and the cooking and baking that comes along welcomed, no matter if we picked them ourselves or not.


This year we hit the pumpkin patch early and brought home a collection of pumpkins big and small.  The apples came and went quickly and we enjoyed picking a few Honey Crisps and Jogengolds.  With our apples we made a delicious applesauce and have plans for an apple cake and pie.


We always choose a sugar pumpkin or two to roast along with our carving selections.  This year with yummy homemade purée we’ve baked pumpkin muffins and quick bread; oatmeal pumpkin pancakes and are saving some for pumpkin pie.  Baking in our house is wheat and dairy free; it’s fun to adapt new recipes plus bring back old favorites.  Now we just have to get to carving and the pumpkin season will be complete.

Pumpkin Purée 
Adapted loosely from At Farmer’s Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands

1 Sugar Pie pumpkin

Preheat over to 350ºF

Slice the pumpkin in two, lengthwise, and scrape seeds and strings out.  Place face down in 4 cups of water in a 9 1/2 x 12″ pan.  Bake for two hours, until the flesh is soft.  Let cool and then scrape the pumpkin flesh out.  Use immediately or store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for 2 days.  (Although I’ve kept mine in the refrigerator for up to a week with no problem.)


Wheat and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread or Muffins
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 1/2 cup of whole spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin puré
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water or almond milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.  Stir the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spices together and fold into dry ingredients until just mixed.  Add nuts, if using.  Pour into a greased loaf pan (I use Earth Balance to grease my pans).  Bake 50-60 minutes.  You can also make muffins by lining a muffin pan, filling 3/4 of the cup and bake for 25-30 minutes.  It is also easy to double this recipe and put the extra muffins or loaf in the freezer.

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