Written by Mindy, Contributing Writer
I love everything about autumn. The cool crisp air, the breathtaking colors of the leaves, the outdoor bonfires, and all the extra snuggling opportunities that ensue are some of my favorite things about the season.
However, the thing that I look forward to the most during this time of year is all of the wonderful, seasonal food! I absolutely love the flavors that are associated with autumn. To me, these flavors speak ultimate comfort food!
Two of my favorite autumn dishes are true classics – pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole. I grew up eating both of these time-honored dishes every Thanksgiving. I love both of them in their own right, but when the thought came to me of combining the two into one dish, I knew I couldn’t resist!
With all of the spices and flavor of pumpkin pie and all of the subtly sweet, crunchy goodness of sweet potato casserole, this Pumpkin Pie Casserole is absolutely delicious. It is the perfect side dish to any special autumn dinner!
In addition to being delicious, this casserole also packs quite the nutritional punch. Did you know that pumpkins are considered a super food? They are full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and fiber! Pumpkins can also help in fighting the flu. Yes, I would say that pumpkins do deserve the title of “super food!”
- 4 cups [url href=”http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2009/09/play-it-again-canning-pumpkins.html” target=”_blank”]pumpkin puree[/url] (I recommend using fresh over canned)
- 1/4 cup pure [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083QJUL8/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0083QJUL8&linkCode=as2&tag=keeofthehom-20&linkId=CLAU62JHDNTNSLUI” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]maple syrup[/url] (preferably grade b)
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons [url href=”http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2011/04/good-fats-bad-fats-and-why-i-eat-plenty-of-butter.html” target=”_blank”]butter[/url], softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (I use my [url href=”http://creatingnaturally.com/homemade-vanilla-extract/” target=”_blank”]homemade vanilla extract[/url])
- 1/2 tsp [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SWTKV0/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000SWTKV0&linkCode=as2&tag=keeofthehom-20&linkId=2NFTZ4CEKPYPWTQW” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]salt[/url]
- 1 1/2 tsp [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WS1KHM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000WS1KHM&linkCode=as2&tag=keeofthehom-20&linkId=KJ7NJE2DNJAL2RYP” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]cinnamon[/url]
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (walnuts would work also)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup sucanat
- 3 tbsp butter softened
- Preheat oven to 350oF.
- Combine the first eleven ingredients (through nutmeg) in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended.
- Place the pumpkin mixture in a shallow 2.5 quart, greased baking dish.
- Combine the pecans, coconut, sucanat, and butter until everything is well incorporated.
- Sprinkle evenly over the pumpkin mixture.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes, until the top is well browned and the casserole is set.
What are your favorite comfort foods for autumn? And what do you love to make with pumpkin?