Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cold and Creamy, Pumpkiny Dreamy

If you haven't tried pumpkin frozen yogurt or ice cream, put it on your to-do list for this fall. What a luxurious blend: cold, creamy ice cream paired with the autumnal, spicy flavors of pumpkin pie, all combined in orange-y perfection.

Many local frozen yogurt shops now offer pumpkin varieties as a seasonal flavor including Fraiche, Pinkberry, and Mix. I love them all, and they're flavorful enough to enjoy without any toppings. But if you're in the mood, any kind of chocolate topping adds a sweet touch.

Jamba Juice also makes its refreshing Pumpkin Smash smoothie this time of year, which I especially enjoy after a workout. It's got yogurt, pumpkin spice, soy milk and ice, and I add their immunity boost vitamins for extra nourishment.

For a richer dessert, try pumpkin ice cream. Both locally based and family-run, Rick's Rather Rich and Treat make wonderful pumpkin ice creams. They can be enjoyed along with Thanksgiving pies, or scoop and spread them into a graham cracker pie crust for a twist on the traditional.

For mass market pumpkin ice cream, both Trader Joe's and Dreyer's (headquartered in Oakland) are sold widely.

If you'd like to create your own pumpkin ice cream at home, here's an easy way to do it. This is one of those halfway recipes with no ice cream maker required.

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream 
(adapted from Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Cookbook recipe for from-scratch recipe)

1 quart of vanilla ice cream (less dense varieties will be easier to use, such as Dreyer's vanilla bean ice cream)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Let vanilla ice cream soften by thawing for about 30-45 minutes.
2. Scoop ice cream into a blender. Add the pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and blend until combined.
3. Transfer ice cream into your preferred freezer-safe container and freeze to desired consistency.

Makes a generous 1 quart of pumpkin ice cream. Enjoy!

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