(Family Features) Fall is perfect for making time for fun before the busy holiday season – go for a fall picnic, visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch, and take advantage of all the flavors fall has to offer. One of those dominating flavors of this season? Pumpkin.
Try these delicious, comforting, no-hassle fall ideas that won’t carve a big chunk out of your budget:
* The great taste of seasonal produce can stand on its own, adding star power to simple recipes. Baked pears or apples are a sweet, festive treat. Slice them in half and fill with walnuts, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until the sugars caramelize and fruits soften.
* Take on-the-go snacks to the next level by coating almonds or garbanzo beans in your favorite seasonal spices and baking until crispy.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen (pictured at right)
1/2 cup Pure Canned Pumpkin
1/2 cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup Unsweetened Almondmilk
2 teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Flax Seed, Chia Seeds, Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels, Whipped Cream, Granola bits, Caramel sauce, Chopped Pecans, toasted Apple slices, Ground Cinnamon
*Blend canned pumpkin, yogurt, banana, milk, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
Transfer to serving bowl or special dish. Top with desired garnishes and enjoy the relatively healthy pumpkin goodness!
Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel
Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen (pictured at left)
1 package Cafe Bistro Spekulatius Spiced Cookies (or other cookies)
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, divided
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup Cranberry Sauce
8 ounces Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread, softened
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1 cup Canned Pumpkin
8 ounces Whipped Topping, divided
*Place cookies in food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs.
In medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add cookie crumbs and stir over medium heat 5 minutes, or until toasted. Remove from heat.
*To make caramel: Bring brown sugar and water to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark amber. Do not stir, but watch closely. Stir in cranberry sauce and remaining butter. Return to simmer and continue stirring until well combined and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Press warm cookie crumbs in bottom of small serving glasses, such as clear shot glasses, espresso cups, small bowls or parfait glasses.
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and continue mixing. Gently fold in 6 ounces whipped topping.
To complete assembly, top crumbs with layers of cranberry caramel and pumpkin cream. Repeat layers, including crumbs, 2-3 times depending on glass size. Top each parfait with dollop of remaining whipped topping. Serve or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
Photos courtesy Getty Images #13943