I’m often left with the dilemma of leftover ingredients. Some ingredients are a no-brainer in putting together another dish—crushed tomatoes are easily tossed with some garlic and basil for a simple pasta dish; beans top off a salad, or get thrown into a soup, or made into a light and healthy dip.
There are others, though, that require me to do a little bit more thinking and dig around for some recipes, especially with ingredients I don’t use as often. The month of October, with Thanksgiving and Halloween in the midst, had me popping open cans of pureed pumpkin. Yet none of the recipes I made ever required me to use a whole can of pureed pumpkin, which always left me with more pumpkin than I really needed. And there were only so many pumpkin loaves, scones, or muffins I was really to bake (and eat).
Having ran out of granola, I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Granola, courtesy of Buried Carrots, perfect to use up some of my leftover pumpkin. Chock-full of dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, spices, and maple, the granola screamed “autumn.” It’s a moister, chewier granola than what I’m used to (the drier, crunchier type), thanks to the addition of pumpkin, but just as delicious over yogurt with a little maple syrup or apple butter.
Yet I still had leftover pumpkin puree, which got turned into Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, recipe courtesy of Ellen in the Kitchen. If you’re a fan of a chewy, cakey cookie, then this one is for you. The pumpkin keeps the cookies super moist, and I always love the combination of chocolate and cinnamon. I also sprinkled a little applewood-smoked salt on top. It’s easy to put a few of these back before you’ve realized how many you’ve ate!
So open up a can of pumpkin and try out a recipe…or two…or three… Because leftovers truly can be inspiring.