Welcome to the November 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Feeding Your Family This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared recipes, stories, and advice about food and eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Pumpkin Harvest Muffins
This year we grew pumpkins in our first year garden. It was my first time to grow pumpkins in Southern California where planting and harvesting schedules feel strange and perhaps even wrong. I had to suspend my sense of disbelief when I planted pumpkin seeds straight into the ground at the beginning of February. I could have even planted them in January right along with my other winter squash!
My squash germinated quickly and grew beautifully. The pumpkin vines made our garden feel like a lush jungle. It was truly amazing. Then June Gloom hit. Back in Vancouver, where I spent many years (and wish to someday spend many more), June is traditionally a rainy month. Cool weather tends to accompany this summer rush of rain. Further down the coast in Los Angeles, we experience a similar weather pattern. However, instead of rain, we are hit with a daily morning fog that lifts at around noon each day. Unlike on the southern coast of British Columbia, the accompanying temperature is quite warm. This combination of damp air and heat seems to create a perfect breeding ground for disease and pests alike. My pumpkin vines were hit with a speedy, heavy case of powdery mildew. Every few days I was outside spraying the plants with some kitchen mix I put together. I tried milk and water (spray it on while it’s sunny), hydrogen peroxide and water, baking soda and water, and finally potassium bicarbonate and water with a splash of vegetable oil. The first three concoctions each worked to varying degrees, but it was not until I applied the potassium bicarbonate, stocked by wine making shops, that I reached the success that was necessary to give us a successful pumpkin harvest.
Homemade Solution for Preventing and Eliminating Powdery Mildew in the Garden
- 2 Tbsp of Potassium Bicarbonate
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 tsp of vegetable oil
Mix all the ingredients and spray on when there is no sun present on the plants. Morning is best. This ensures that the leaves aren’t wet in the evening…which might foster a whole OTHER set of problems. At the end of June I harvested the first pumpkin. June! Crazy! The majority of the pumpkins were harvested in July and there were a few stragglers into August. This kind of blew my mind. I had intended to can the pumpkin puree until I learned that this is not safe. So plans changed. I did cure a few outdoors in warm weather and then stored them in the storage closet beneath our house, but I could not convince myself that it was cool enough down there. Ultimately, I pureed all the pumpkins and threw them into the freezer. I scooped 31 oz in each yogurt tub because this is the same amount contained by a large can of pumpkin, give or take an ounce.
I have made one pumpkin pie, but we all love muffins so much around our house that most of the pumpkins have so far gone into baking pumpkin harvest muffins. Here is our recipe. Bon Appetit!
Pumpkin Harvest Muffins by Mama is Inspired
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- ½ cup flax meal
- 2 cups white flour (unbleached)
(as long as you have 2 cups of white flour, you can switch around all the other quantities above and make substitutions for any or all of them such as kamut flour, spelt flour, etc. Flax and almond are added for nutrition and flavour but can be replaced with any other type of flour. You can also substitute in oat bran, wheat germ, ground walnuts, etc.).
- 11/2 Tbsps baking powder
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ Tbsp ground ginger
- ¼ Tbsp ground cloves
- 30-32 oz of pumpkin puree (approximately 1 large can or 1 medium sugar pumpkin)
(If you don’t have that much puree on hand, you can half that and substitute in 4 mashed bananas)
- ½ cup raw sugar
- 1 ½ cups molasses
(you can leave out the raw sugar and use only the 1 ½ cups of molasses. You can substitute even more of the molasses with pineapple juice and throw in pineapple chunks)
- 3 ¼ cups water
- ¾ cup vegetable oil, such as sunflower oil
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups raisins (optional)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds (optional)
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips (optional. I scoop all of my son’s mix into mini muffin tins and then I add chocolate chips in for the regular sized muffins that my husband and I will eat)
Directions Makes 24 mini muffins plus 24 regular size muffins Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together. If you are making muffins from fresh pumpkin, bake the pumpkin first and then scoop flesh into food processor and puree. Fold dry ingredients into wet. Scoop mix into oiled muffin tins. Bake for 30-50 minutes. To test, place clean, dry knife into centre of muffin. The knife should be clean when removed. Bake time depends on whether your oven is electric or gas and the heat circulation in your individual oven. Please subscribe to Mama is Inspired. Follow on facebook and Pinterest.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Nut Free Desserts for the Holidays — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama will be talking about navigating the holidays with peanut allergies in the family.
- Making Peace with My Picky Eater — Once upon a time, there was a boy who would try anything. And then he turned 3. Thus began the dinner chronicles at Dionna at Code Name: Mama‘s house.
- Foodie Morphed by Motherhood — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis reflects on the changes of her family’s food culture since becoming a mother, and shares a snapshot of their current food rhythm.
- Introducing First Foods — Wondering what your little one should take a bite of first? That Mama Gretchen explains baby-led weaning/baby self-feeding and answers a number of questions that may come to mind!
- Feeding Your Family — Coconut Oil!!! — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama is a coconut oil devotee. In this post, she shares her favorite ways to include coconut oil in her family’s diet as well as why she feels it is important to do so.
- We Thank the Earth for its Food! — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle spends hours in the kitchen each day trying to make medicine in the form of food.
- Focusing on Healthy, Gluten-Free Foods for My Family — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares what her family is doing to eat healthily along with her recipe for gluten-free peanut butter oat bran muffins.
- Intolerance — sustainablemum laments the misunderstanding surrounding food intolerances.
- Don’t Let Food Sensitivities Ruin Your Holidays! — Rachel, the Titus 2 Homemaker, talks about ways to enjoy the holidays even if you wrestle with food sensitivities.
- Losing grains, keeping empathy: Paleo and fat acceptance — Lauren at Hobo Mama vlogs about her family’s decision to cut grains to improve health — and hopes she can retain her position as a proponent of size acceptance even as she loses weight.
- Easy Homemade Crockpot Mac & Cheese — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work, shakes off the blue-box blues with an easy crockpot mac-and-cheese recipe with no artificial dyes or excessive preservatives … just creamy, delicious, comfort-food goodness.
- Extended Family Dinners — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about sharing family dinners with housemates and why it works for her.
- Five Suggestions for Eating Healthy During the Holidays — No need to feel powerless when it comes to our highly sugared/processed food culture during the holidays &emdash; Andrea at It Takes Time offers tips to stay on track.
- How to feed your family — no food required! — Jessica at JessicaCary.com is kind of obsessed with food. But, lately she’s realized there’s more to nourishment than what she cooks up in the kitchen.
- Food as family medicine: living gluten-free and beyond — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama sticks to her gluten-free guns but sees room for improvement in her pursuit of a real-food family table.
- Feeding My Family — Challenges and Growth — Susan at Together Walking shares what has been most challenging about feeding her two kids and how she has grown in the kitchen since becoming a mother.
- How I Lost 75 Lbs — What I Eat & My Top 5 Tips — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares how she and her family became healthy, happy and active.
- The Weight of Motherhood — Revolution Momma at Raising a Revolution rethinks her relationship with food after struggling with post-pregnancy weight gain.
- Geek Food: Pumpkin Pasties — While Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and family might have food sensitivities, their geekery knows no limits. So, when faced with a desire to recreate Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter, they do not shy away!
- Pumpkin Harvest Muffins — This summer Mama is Inspired and family grew pumpkins, and this autumn they are baking scrumptious, healthy muffins out of those pumpkins.
- Reintroducing Meat to the Vegetarian Tummy — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares some of the considerations she explored before transitioning from a vegetarian diet to reintroducing meat as a protein source and a few tips on making it an easy one.
- Thanksgiving Meal, Thankful? — Jorje of Momma Jorje has never felt terribly thankful for Thanksgiving itself. Perhaps that could change if she’s a little more invested?
- 5 Ways to Use Healing Bone Broth — It’s that time of year again, when unpleasant little bugs make their way into our homes. For Megan of The Boho Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, homemade stock or bone broth is a natural remedy.