My mom asked me the other day to make her more jam for her breakfast. Unfortunately, the berries that work best for making jam are completely out of season. As we brainstormed different options, we came up with pumpkin butter! Traditionally, pumpkin butter is made with a lot of refined sugar...not the best way to start the day. After messing around with a bunch of ingredients, I came up with a pumpkin butter that is sweetened with honey and maple syrup and flavored with warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. I made ginger the star in this recipe, because I love pairing a sweet flavor with a strong, savory one and eating ginger is a fabulous way to start the day.
Pumpkins are high in alpha-carotene, lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They are a great source of fiber, which helps to curb the appetite. The phytonutrients found in pumpkin protect the eyes and skin from oxidative damage. Also, the phytosterols present reduce blood cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease the risk of some cancers.
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I prefer Grade B because it has a bolder flavor)
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 teaspoon ginger*
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon*
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of sea salt
Combine the pumpkin, maple syrup, apple juice and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the spices and salt, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat, and transfer your pumpkin butter to a small bowl or jar. Let it cool completely before covering and refrigerating.
*If you want your pumpkin butter more on the sweet side, use 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ginger.
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