Pumpkin Challenge 2017: Days 26 – 31 + Farewell!

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Each year, I endeavor to consume one pumpkin thing per day for the month of October. This is my 7th annual Pumpkin Challenge – welcome!


Day 26: Pumpkin QuesadillaHappyHealthyLife


This was one of my favourite new things that I tried for this year’s challenge.

I think I’ll be returning to Happy Healthy Life for more recipes in the future because this one was really unique and tasted great! Pumpkin, maple syrup, vegan (Daiya) mozzarella cheese, and I threw in some veggie chick’n for protein (these tortillas were also stacked with protein!). I highly recommend this for the various potential modifications and health benefits you can get from a twist on the traditional quesadilla!


Day 27: Doom Bits, Doomie’s Toronto


My first days of 2016’s Pumpkin Challenge took place in Toronto, and these were on the agenda then – it was the first time I had visited Toronto and I had not become a resident yet, but this year I knew that these Doom Bits would be a contender for top pumpkin thing.

They are reminiscent of “Johnny Cakes” from Reef in Vancouver – small, deep-fried doughnuts that are sweet and warm. These ones, however, are vegan and they are filled with pumpkin! Not your traditional flavour, and it is on their menu year-round! They also have a pumpkin (with or without bourbon) milkshake, which I will need to feature during non-pumpkin months because I did not get to try it due to being too full from everything else we ate (including all-vegan: deep-fried mag n’ cheese balls, BBQ pork nachos, and a PB&J burger?!):




Day 28: Pumpkin Apple MuffinsHappyHealthyLife


Healthy Happy Life makes a return in these muffins! I bought applesauce recently and had not wanted it to go to waste as I have so many times before with this natural sweetener. I thought that it, as a gooey version of a produce, might pair well with that one which has consumed my interest for the month. It did!


Day 29: Pumpkin Brownies, Chocolate-Covered Katie


Someone at work mentioned that they wanted to see some brownies, and with only a few days of the month left I knew they would need to be my next item. CCK is endlessly good to me for my month of pumpkin with her healthy vegan pumpkin recipes, so I turned to her for some super moist pumpkin brownies.

My brownies turned out too gooey to hold on to comfortably, but they still tasted chocolaty and delicious! I will need to make some tweaks and focus on my measurements more next time to see if I can have them turn out more firm.


Day 30: Pumpkin Risotto, Chocolate-Covered Katie


Ah, the pumpkin risotto. The only risotto I have ever made and always make too much of.

I do rely on CCK for almost all things, but it is never a mistake to do so! This recipe makes me feel like a chef as I make the dish come to life with timing and stirring on the stove. As someone who does not spend much time combining things creatively for meals (read: steam broccoli, cook veggie patty, add vegan cheese via microwave), it is always nice to be reminded that I am capable of more, and this tangy and yummy recipe does just that!


Day 31: Pumpkin Pie CupcakeBunner’s Bake Shop


Finally, we reach the last day. It is bittersweet. What purpose will my life hold when I no longer hold myself accountable for eating pumpkin every day? I will have to face the reality of living in a place I still don’t know very well! Ahhh!

It isn’t so bad, though, because it is always satisfying to check another full month of pumpkin consumption off of my list! It doesn’t hurt, either, that the final day is often something delicious, much like it was this year. The same soul who encouraged a pumpkin brownie gifted me a pumpkin pie cupcake from Bunner’s Bake Shop! I let it stay warm so that its initial fridge-temperature-induced firmness would vanish, which left behind a soft and cream-filled cupcake that was entirely vegan and entirely yummy.


Thank-you for riding the pumpkin wave with me this year! I am already excited about more restaurant recipe adventures next year, filled with that delicious and versatile gourd.

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