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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Low-Fat Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving from this little pilgrim.
I seriously can't believe that the holiday season is in full swing. I'm quite aware that I make myself sound super old by talking about this all the time (and by using words like quite). But man, time sure does fly.

So here we are again, at the end of the month, scrambling to get things done. Or at least I am.
Projects, finals, articles, meetings, you name it. I barely have time to cook anymore.

But if the recipe in question contains pumpkin and eggy (egg-free) custard, you can bet I'll make time.
This delicious dish is: A Food Memory For Which You Are I Am Thankful

In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.

This is the Recipe Redux theme of the month. I chose classic bread pudding to feed my nostalgia because I have fond memories of devouring it as a little kid. It was one of my favorite desserts.
It was never a family recipe or a tradition, per se, but it did have a lasting impact on my childhood. I have vivid recollections of visiting Roxy's Famous Deli and ordering their decadent bread pudding, swimming in a pool of ice cream.

The restaurant is now closed *sob* but it will surely linger forever in my mind.

But enough with the drama, let's get back to the dish at hand.
I served it alongside stewed cranberries for some moisture and extra tang.
In this "grown-up" variation of bread pudding, I incorporate tart cranberries, creamy pumpkin, and a hint (or more) of alcohol if you so desire. Of course, this recipe is healthified, refined-sugar free, and 100% vegan.

Make it this Thanksgiving or maybe just 'cause- either way, I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 8 slices bread of choice, lightly toasted
  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu
  • 1.5 oz. rum (optional)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbs. cornstarch (preferably organic)
  • 1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Tear bread into small chunks (about .5 x.5 in.) and layer in greased baking dish
  • Cut up tofu into cubes and puree in food processor until smooth
  • Add rum and pulse for about 10 more seconds, until well-combined
  • Transfer tofu puree to mixing bowl and whisk in maple syrup, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt
  • Once mixture is smooth, add pumpkin puree and cranberries, and stir very well
  • Pour filling into the baking dish over bread chunks
  • Sprinkle evenly with coconut sugar
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crisp
   
   

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