Sweet and Sneaky Ways to Eat Your Veggies: Pumpkin

aka “The Best Thanksgiving Vegetable”

pumpkin custard


At Thanksgiving, I usually serve myself a two-bite slice of turkey, a tablespoon of mashed potatoes, and three green beans. (Okay, slight exaggeration.) Then, while everyone else complains of stomach cramps and food comas, I still have plenty of room for dessert and get first dibs on the pumpkin pie!  


This past year, I baked Chocolate Covered Katie’s crustless version, and I ate nearly a third of the pie by myself after the feast. It was that good!


pumpkin custard


To curb my temptation to eat that much pie again just two months later, I mixed up individual-sized custards instead. And I added extra pumpkin, which made it really creamy — and meant that I could count it as an entire serving of vegetables too!


pumpkin custard


Pumpkin Custards

modified from this recipe

serves 2

These custards are so smooth and creamy! Top with whipped cream for an extra treat.

⅔ c. pumpkin purée

5 tsp light brown sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

⅛ tsp ground cloves

smidgen ground ginger

1 egg white (or 1½ tsp Ener-G + 2 tbsp water)

¼ c. milk

¼ tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°, and lightly coat 2 ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Set them inside of a loaf pan, and pour enough water into the pan so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the pumpkin and next 8 ingredients (through vanilla) until smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared ramekins, and bake at 350° for 40-45 min or until centers are set. Carefully remove from the water bath, and cool to room temperature.


Other Sweet and Sneaky Veggie Treats:

carrot cake oatmeal

caramelized onion breakfast muffins

fudgy beet brownies


pumpkin custard



January 28, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts.


  1. Andrea replied:

    Mmmm… Don’t be weirded out- but I stashed extra pumpkin puree from a recipe I made around Thanksgiving time in my freezer and have been waiting for the perfect thing to use it in… think this is it!! What size ramekins are those? Your cute mini spoons are throwing off my perspective! 😉

    • foods for the soul replied:

      I’m not weirded out at all… I bought an extra two cans of pumpkin so I could bake with it after Thanksgiving!! :] The ramekins are, um, small-ish — a little larger than muffin cups but not by much. You could probably use muffins cups too, or even Texas-sized muffin cups. Hope that helps!

  2. thglutenfree replied:

    Aw such delicious pictures! (a tiny weeny pic envy..)

    No Thanksgiving where I come from, but pumpkin galore.. and I love it!

    Great blog, great recipes, great photos.. Thanks!


    • foods for the soul replied:

      The best part of Thanksgiving is the pumpkin pie (in my opinion), so as long as you have pumpkin, you aren’t missing much! ;] And thank you for the compliments; you made my day!!

  3. Liz replied:


    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thanks! They didn’t taste healthy at all, which made me enjoy them 20 times more!

      • Liz replied:

        I see I’m in good company having stockpiles of (fresh:-)) pumpkin puree in my freezer. Now I know exactly what to do with them. Carrot cake oatmeal, crustless pumpkin pie, onion muffins–how healthy I’ll be:-)

      • foods for the soul replied:

        Eating veggies CAN be fun and delicious! Just wait until Wednesday… I saved the best for last!!

  4. BekAtCrave replied:

    I had butternut pumpkin twice today! I just don’t know if I can do the whole pumpkin in a sweet dish thing ha 😛 Looks good though 🙂

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Pumpkin pie has been a huge staple for us growing up, so I’m just used to eating it in sweets by now! I rarely eat pumpkin in anything other than pie… Except in pancakes or cookies! Maybe I should try a more savory recipe. Someday. ;]

      • BekAtCrave replied:

        Haha! Crazy aye? It’s delicious in salads, scrambles, roasts, cannelloni-you name it. Haha, and I’ll just HAVE to try pumpkin as a sweet dish..one day 😉

      • foods for the soul replied:

        I have heard of adding it to pasta dishes for a creamy sauce… If you’ll try a sweet pumpkin treat, I’ll try a savory way! :]

  5. everythingfoody replied:

    Really enjoying this new series of sneaky ways to eat your vegetables. I have never had pumpkin custard before, in fact, I don’t think I have ever had pumpkin that was sweet. I think it is more of an american thing? Will try this though, could butternut squash be used? Pumpkin isn’t in season 😦

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Pumpkin sweets probably are more of an American thing. I grew up with pumpkin pies, cookies, quick breads… I think I have yet to eat pumpkin in something savory! I’m assuming other squashes would work if you baked them before puréeing and adding to the custard base. I’d love to hear about the results if you tried!

      And thank you; I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying this little series! Just wait for tomorrow… I saved the best for last!

      • everythingfoody replied:

        I will try it with butternut and tell you how it went! Pumpkin with cumin is a beautiful combo. I will share a recipe soon!

        The best till last huh? Count me in!

      • foods for the soul replied:

        Wonderful, I’m excited to hear your results! I love cumin, but surprisingly I haven’t thought to add it to pumpkin… Probably because I’m stuck in the pumpkin dessert rut! ;] I’ll have to try it out!

        Only a few more hours to wait! :]

  6. Amanda Riva (@TheHotPlate) replied:

    Hi There!

    First, let me introduce myself. My name is Amanda Riva and I am the Owner & Co-Founder of The Hot Plate (www.thehotplate.com). I found your blog and could not stop drooling over the photos! The Hot Plate is a free community for the hungriest Food Lovers on the web, and I’d love to have you share your recipes with us!

    The Hot Plate has lots of ways for you to promote and share your recipes with thousands of Food Lovers across the world! Now you can:

    – Promote your recipes and blog by submitting them to our THP Loved Photo Section (if you use Foodgawker and Tastespotting you know the drill)

    – Be part of the webs fastest growing community of hand picked Food Lovers

    If you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to let me know!

    Happy Cooking,

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thank you for the complements, Amanda! I’ll definitely head over to your site and take a peek. Sharing food photos and recipes is rarely a bad thing!

  7. crumbcoatedlife replied:

    I love this “sweet and sneaky” series you have going. I’m gonna have to test some of these out on my veggie-phobic hubby. I’ve actually tried this before with beet chocolate cake (lovely color) and parsnip cake (kind of subdued carrot cake). Can’t wait to see what you post next!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thank you! I’ve been enjoying experimenting with and writing the series. With so much positive feedback, I’m definitely going to do another “sweet and sneaky” veggie series in the future! Do you have any vegetables in particular that you’d like to see appear there?

      I saved my favorite for tomorrow… Hope you enjoy that one too!

      • crumbcoatedlife replied:

        I’m going to challenge you here…I always found greens the hardest to sneak into sweets. I’d love to see what you could do with spinach or broccoli!

      • foods for the soul replied:

        I accept!! Ironic too; spinach was next on my list… :] I’m excited for the next veggie round!

  8. Brittany replied:

    YUMM!! I miss pumpkin, I need to make something with it soon to get that holiday feeling all over again!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      I think we should have pumpkin baked goods all year round! There’s no point to limiting them to Thanksgiving, especially when winter hangs around for another 3 or 4 months… What’s your favorite pumpkin treat?

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