Kids in the Kitchen: Hello Pumpkin!

Now that it’s finally Pumpkin Spice Everything season, I mean “fall,” the coffee shops and bakeries are full of my favorite things. But there’s more to the pumpkin than just lattes and pie. The pumpkin is a rock star of a vegetable, densely packed with nutrients, and deserves the spotlight throughout the season and beyond. Pumpkin is high in antioxidants and fiber, with a healthy dose of vitamin A. It’s also versatile, easily working in savory or sweet dishes across a variety of cultural cuisines. Incorporate these kid-friendly pumpkin dishes this season!

Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal


2 cups Water

2½ cups Milk (of choice)

1 cup Pumpkin Puree

1 tsp. Pumpkin Spice

1 cup Steel Cut Oats

Maple Syrup or Honey (optional)

optional toppings: diced Apple, chopped Pecans, golden Raisins


  1. Place all ingredients in the crockpot and stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cool on low 4 hours on a higher setting, or 7 hours on low.
  3. Place in bowls to cool a bit and top with your favorite toppings, such as diced apples, chopped pecans, golden raisins, a dollop of vanilla yogurt, or even chocolate chips!

Note: Use the leftover pumpkin to add to cheesy pumpkin quesadillas or the Pumpkin Pie Hummus below!

Pumpkin Pie Dessert Hummus


1 can Chickpeas, drained & rinsed

¼ cup Cashew Butter

¼ cup Maple Syrup

1¼ cups Pumpkin Puree

2½ tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

pinch of Sea Salt

sliced Apples

Graham Crackers or Graham Sticks


  1. Place all ingredients from chickpeas through sea salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 
  2. Using a rubber spatula, transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle a few dashes of pumpkin pie spice on top. Serve with apple slices and grahams. 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread


1 & ¾ cups All-purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Cinnamon

¼ tsp. Nutmeg

¼ tsp. Cloves

¼ tsp. ground Ginger

¾ tsp. Salt

2 large Eggs, room temp.

½ cup granulated Sugar

½ cup packed light or dark brown Sugar

1½ cups Pumpkin Puree (canned)

½ cup Vegetable Oil

¼ cup Orange Juice (or sub. milk)

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Move the oven rack to the lower 3rd position. Preheat to 350° and spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugars until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, and orange juice (or milk). Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Do not over-mix. (It’s okay if there are some lumps.) Fold in the chocolate chips. 
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, covering the top with foil halfway through to prevent the top from overbrowning.  The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few crumbs.
  5. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator up to 10 days. 

Notes: To make muffins, bake batter in muffin tin for 20 minutes at same temp. 
Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in fridge and bring to room temperature before serving. 



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