Pump It

I have recently come to believe…pumpkin is a way of life. Similar to cilantro, the flavours and spices that combine to make the savoury pumpkin dessert taste aren’t for everybody. I’ll tell you one thing though, it is most certainly for me. Before I get into this delicously simple recipe (things taste better when they are cheap and easy, no?) – I’m going to delve into some of my deep-rooted childhood issues.

If my Mom or Dad read this, I apologize for airing your dirty laundry and I still love you. Long, long ago when I was just a little Jess (or Jess the Mess to enemies, which I rebuttled and won with Jess the Princess – BAM), my parents must have assumed I wouldn’t like the taste of pumpkin desserts. I could have said something at some point about how I didn’t want to try it, I could have commented on pumpkin guts, who knows – but either way, pumpkin anything was really never a dessert staple at any of our Thanksgiving or fall-festive meals. Up until two years ago, when I brought two Aussie friends home for Thanksgiving dinner, did my Mom decide to add a little pumpkin pie to the menu so that our foreign guests could have the full Canadian Turkey dinner experience. Well, I might as well have been a foreigner too – because I looked at the brownish-orange dessert with confusion, hesitation and upset the way that they did. Until I tried it, and life as I knew it had changed. At 21 years old, I had found my calling. Pumpkin.

Ideal Costume

Now it’s really just a problem. An unhealthy, indulgent obsession fueled by a (most likely unintentional) lifelong deprivation of maybe my favourite dessert taste. Red Velvet? Nah, I’ll take a pumpkin pie. Frosted cupcakes? I’ll take some pumpkin loaf instead, thanks. September 21st as the first day of beautiful fall? Absolutely not; it’s the first day of beautiful pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks.

So, needless to say, if I can whip up some of this scrumptious fall flavouring in my own kitchen, in the form of a batch of cookies that I can eat into the late hours of the night with no judgment because I live alone – I’m going to be happy as a clam. Sue me, I love pumpkin. Here is a healthy, quick and easy pumpkin cookie that you can munch on at any time of year, regardless of what people say:

Pumpkin Cookies

What you’ll need to make 20 cookies: 1 1/2 tsp of sugar substitute (or 1 1/2 cup of fugar), 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder,  2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce (or light butter), 1/2 can of pumpkin puree,  1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and salt; put this bowl aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce and sugar-substitute. Then, add the pumpkin, egg and 1 tsp. vanilla extract to that apple sauce mixture.

4. Mix in the dry ingredients and whisk together until creamy and thick.

6. Take tablespoonfuls and plop onto a cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 20 -25, remove from oven and glaze with icing or dip in fat-free vanilla yogurt.

8. Don’t wear all black when baking…classic mistake.

9. ENJOY YOUR COOKIES! And, long live pumpkin…in a nutshell.

My camera conked out, but this is what they look like! YUM!


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