Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin, peanut butter and oats, oh my!

Every year at this time I start seeing delicious recipes pop up for all kinds of delicious looking recipes that call for canned pumpkin, that can of stuff that says “Libbys” clearly across it. 

The problem is, that in Japan, it is hard to get canned pumpkin and it’s expensive. Why spend so much on it when I could probably make it, but have I ever tried? Nope.

Last year, I made a few pumpkin soups by throwing the pumpkin in the rice cooker until it was soft and then putting it in the soup.

This year, as I was reading Tokyo Terrace, a food blog I enjoy, I spotted a recipe for pumpkin puree. Of course, I had to try it, but what would I put it in? Then, I found Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars on Pinterest, and of course there was no question I had to try them.

On Sunday night, I decided that I wanted to make this snack. When I thought about how to do the pumpkin, I saw no reason to use the slightly scary microwave/oven/toaster contraption I have sitting in my kitchen. Instead, I used my favorite Japanese kitchen appliance – my rice cooker! I put the pumpkin in and pressed start . . . or so I thought.

When I went to look shortly after, I was surprised at how little it had cooked and then I realized I hadn’t pushed start, but stop. I pushed start and went about doing other things until it was ready. The pumpkin was so hot when came out, I had to stick it in the fridge for a little while so I wouldn't burn my fingers while I peeled the skin off.

Once I had the skin off, I stuck it in my tiny food processor, adding small amounts of water, and whirled away until it had a texture I was happy with.

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After pulling the pumpkin out, I stuck it in a container to be measured out with the ingredients for the next master piece – the Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal bars. Her recipe mentioned that none of the measurements were exact, so I didn't measure most of the ingredients either, but just put them in as I was happy with them.

I started with the peanut butter, oats, vanilla and sugars. At that point, they smelled a lot like peanut butter Captain Crunch. Of course I stole a small taste and they tasted just like it. I continued and added in the pumpkin and spices – the whole thing smelled of peanut butter and delicious-ness.

Then I put them in the oven and baked them for the prescribed amount of time. When they came out, it was hard not to cut into them, but the recipe said specifically to let them cool before cutting them so they would set.

I wasn’t very successful with this, because I wanted them put away before I went to bed, so I wouldn’t be tempted by them for breakfast. Since they were still a tad warm, they crumbled a little, but they were so delicious.

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They turned out very delicious and I recommend both recipes to anyone with a little pumpkin, peanut butter and oats to spare.

At the end of this, I still have about a cup of puree left and another whole kabocha. Do you have any favorite pumpkin recipes? Share them in the comments!