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Make Your Own Pumpkin Butter (and a List of Ways to Enjoy It)

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Written by Kimberley Stakal

Get ready to make one of the single most dee-licious fall recipes this week: Pumpkin butter! It's not butter, and it doesn't contain any butter, and actually, it's completely vegan! So you can enjoy this wonderful sweet, creamy, spiced spread with all of your friends this season... and you'll want to. Pumpkin butter can run you around 5 to 8 dollars a jar if bought from a specialty shop, and it will usually be made with white sugar or corn syrup. In this completely natural version, all of the autumn elements come together just right: Pumpkin puree, apple cider and maple syrup. You're going to love this recipe!

For those of you who've never had pumpkin butter before, you're pretty much guaranteed to love it... unless you don't go for things that are completely scrumptious, that is. Pumpkin butter is a fall go-to substitute for butter, so use it over whole grain toast for breakfast, smeared atop roasted meats or tempeh cutlets or stirred into apple crisp and pie recipes for an incredible spiced tang. And if you find yourself head-over-heels in love with the stuff, try a few more serving tips:

•Stir into yogurt, kefir or a fall parfait in place of jam or sweetened fruit
•Use in place of oil or butter in a cake, bread or muffin recipe to cut back on fat and pump up the fall flava'.
•Serve with your fave charcuterie platter in place of regular jam; just add fresh cheeses, toasted almonds, cured meats and thin baguette slices
•Use in place of honey or jam with an autumn PB&J sandwich (I recommend almond butter, pumpkin butter and a slice or two of artisanal cheddar cheese)
•Store them in sterilized jars, decorate with ribbons and recipe tips, and give them to friends as no-reason fall gifts!

Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

One (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin purée (or 1 small, 1 ½ pound pumpkin)
½ cup apple cider
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch sea salt

Method

1. If using a whole pumpkin: Peel pumpkin and remove seeds. Cut flesh into ½-inch cubes. Place in medium pot with water barely to cover; bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and mash pumpkin until well pureed. If using canned pumpkin, skip and start with Step 2.

2. Return fresh pumpkin puree (or place canned pumpkin puree) to pot, along with remaining ingredients; stir well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened and cohesive, about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring and scraping bottom of pot regularly.

3. Allow pumpkin butter to cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or well chilled. Store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Follow Kimberley on Twitter @GreenGourmetKim

Image: whitneyinchicago

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