Chai Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkins have become eponymous with autumn, especially when spiced, but technically they are a winter squash so we legitimately have at least another month to fairly enjoy them. Pumpkin butter is smooth and sweet, a great cold-weather alternative to berry jams that can be put on toast or swirled into oatmeal, yogurt bowls or chia pudding for an extra boost of flavour. Using chai tea along with a pumpkin spice blend gives it some extra depth of flavour. The spices traditionally used in chai tea and pumpkin pie spice are quite similar and often include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and other warming, invigorating spices. Beyond enhancing the flavour these spices also contain antioxidants and several health-boosting compounds, making them both enjoyable and functional.Medjool dates have a thick, gooey texture and they are very sweet naturally, enough so that they make the pumpkin butter very sweet without having to add in any additional sugars. They are also high in fiber and several nutrients like potassium and magnesium. When choosing sweet sources it is best to go for natural options, as unrefined as possible, so that all their nutrients are still present. In particular, the fiber can help counteract any of the negative aspects that sugar can have on the body. I also like to use a bit of male syrup because it adds a lot of flavour, especially once it is cooked and its sugars caramelize. It has been slightly modified through its extraction from maple trees but is a good option because it has several minerals and antioxidants and is still considered to be a natural, unrefined product.

Chai Pumpkin Butter
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2 cups
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup (around 16) medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup chai tea
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
DIRECTIONS:
  1. The dates should ideally be soft and gooey, if not soak them in hot water for around 20 minutes. Simply place them (already pitted) into a bowl then pour in some hot water until it just covers them.
  2. Drain the excess water and they will be soft enough to use.
  3. Steep one cup of preferred chai tea according to package directions.
  4. Mash up the dates with a fork or potato masher then mash in the pumpkin puree. Stir in the tea, syrup and spices until fully combined.
  5. Pour into a small to medium sized pot and bring to a boil on the stove over medium high heat, while stirring regularly (the high sugar content makes it burn easily if not stirred enough). Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer, stirring consistently until it thickens up to a jam-like consistency, around 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until storing it in airtight containers for up to a couple weeks.

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