Pumpkin pie punch

Pumpkin Pie Punch - rum julip

Try this delicious glassful of nutrition with your little tricksters on Halloween this year. It’s a treat that can’t be beat!

Instead of adding sugar, I use stevia in the whipped cream topping, a natural no-calorie sweetener that won’t add a single gram to your little one’s sugar load this Halloween season.

If you want to add a some fire power to the mix for those adults who may drop around on the 31st with their little super people in tow, you can spike their glasses with a dash of rum. It may just be me, but I loved this drink with its modest dose of alcohol. I christened the boozy version “Jack-o-lantern Julip”.

Pumpkin Pie Punch - rum julip

Pumpkin Pie Punch
or…
Jack-O-Lantern Julip
Makes 8 half-cup servings or 4 large servings of 1 cup each

  • 1 liter (4 cups) cold apple cider
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see below)
  • 1 cup cold club soda
  • Optional: 3/4 cup rum (turns your drinks magically into julips – only for adults on foot. Remember, don’t drink and drive!)

Garnish

Pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  1. Refrigerate your apple cider and club soda a few hours before you make the punch.
  2. If starting from scratch, blend your pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Whisk together the  cider, pumpkin puree, and 1/4 cup whipping cream.
  4. Add the spice
  5. Core and slice an unpeeled red apple. Dip the slices in lemon juice to keep them from browning.
  6. Pour the pumpkin punch into a large serving bowl. Add a tray of ice cubes. At the last minute, add the club soda and mix gently. Garnish with the whipped cream, some apple slices, and a sprinkling of spice mix.

To serve individual drinks

  1. Put an ice cube in a glass that holds 1.5 cups. Add 3/4 cup pumpkin mix and 1/4 cup club soda. To make the adult version, add 2 tablespoons of alcohol. Mix gently.
  2. Garnish with a dab of whipped cream, a dash of pumpkin pie spice and slice of apple.
  3. Serve with a small coffee spoon.

Note: Proportions can vary depending on taste. But just to say, I tested the above, and I loved the drink with the 2 tablespoons of rum. Delicious!

pumpkin bowls

Where the nutrition is hiding

Don’t throw out that jack-o-lantern after the 31st. Eating pumpkin is good for the heart. The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C content all support heart health. One cup of canned pumpkin puree has seven grams of fiber and three grams of protein— even more than the fresh stuff— and contains only 80 calories and one gram of fat. It is also packed with vitamin A, and other antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotenes. All this means it is great for your eye sight and for fighting chronic diseases. Go pumpkin go! A super-food, indeed.

Cloudy apple juice or cider (with no sugar added) is your best bet for good health. Cloudy apple cider contains more than five times as much of a health-linked antioxidant than clear juice. It also is a good source of potassium and iron. Remember that apple juice contains as much sugar per serving as a soft drink and shouldn’t be drunk as an every-day beverage. In our punch, the apple cider is diluted with several other ingredients, so the level of sugar per serving is less than in regular apple juice. Also, the cream slows the absorption of sugar into your blood stream, to prevent sugar spikes.

Pumpkin pie spice is a powerhouse of antioxidants, the disease fighters that fend of chronic health problems. Cinnamon spice has the highest antioxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. Nutmeg, cloves, and allspice are good for the digestion, and are full of vitamins and minerals. Ditto ginger, which has a long history of use for relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain. Spices rev up your good health while boosting flavor. Use them often.

Whipping cream has all the goodness that milk has – protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. But it also carries a fair amount of saturated fats. These fats may be OK in moderation, but you have to use some caution. They are high in calories and may contribute to heart disease.

The bottom line: There is a lot going for you in this Halloween treat. Let me know how you like it? Boo! From Vinny. xo

Yummy Barbie heads!!!

Trick AND treat! Happy Halloween!

 

 

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