Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Soufflé



                  Pumpkin is not only available in the fall, in Hong Kong it seems like gourds, especially kombucha-like ones are readily available even in the Spring. I love desserts but I am lactose intolerant and many desserts have milk, which really puts me down, but soufflés do exactly the opposite. Soufflés happen to always elevate my mood in the dullest of times. Many restaurants serve chocolate and cheese soufflés with loads of butter and sugar, which really doesn’t interest me. The culinary nutritionist part of me came up with an easy breezy pumpkin soufflé that is lactose-free, gluten-free and lower in sugar because a roasted caramelized pumpkin will already have its own sweetness and require less added sweeteners.

Roasted Pumpkin Soufflé

Ingredients: Makes 6-7 servings (depending on ramekin size)                                      
1/2         Small Pumpkin (~3 pounds)                           Electric cake mixer
1 Tbsp   Brown Sugar                                                 Baking  Tray
1/2 tsp   Ground Cinnamon                                        2 Mixing Bowls
1/2 tsp   Ground Allspice or pumpkin spice                     – 1 large, 1 small
1 tsp      Lemon Juice                                                 6-7 small ramekins (or 1 large one)            3/4 C     Raw Organic granulated sugar                                      
6-7        Egg Whites (small use 7, large use 6)   Plastic Spatula
2 tsp      Cooking Oil (i.e. grapeseed oil/coconut oil)           


Extra    Granulate sugar for coating ramekin

1.  Preheat oven to 185 degrees C (~350 degrees F) and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper or foil
2.  Cut pumpkin in half and save 1/2 for another day. Cut other half into 3-4 pieces and place on tray.
3.  Disperse brown sugar on top of pumpkin pieces and place in oven to roast for 45-60 minutes until caramelized and soft. 
4. Take out and let cool before spooning out pumpkin meat and mash with fork or hand blender until a smooth puree forms while mixing in the cinnamon and allspice. Then set aside.
5. Increase oven heat to 200 degrees C (~400 degrees F). 
6.  Separate eggs for the whites and place in large mixing bowl or buy egg whites (save egg yolks for a later day).

Egg White, Stiff Peaks

7.  Using an electric mixer whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until foamy. (Egg whites foam better at room temperature).
8.  Add 3/4 cups of granulated organic sugar and keep whisking at high speed until stiff peaks form.
9.  Add pumpkin puree one tablespoon at a time to egg whites and use a plastic spatula to fold in mixture and incorporate fully without losing the airy foaminess.  
10.  Coat the ramekins with the cooking oil with your fingers or with a piece of paper towel and coat each one with the extra granulated sugar. 
11.  Place ramekins on a baking tray and spoon in soufflé mixture until level with ramekin rim and spread evenly. 
12.  Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and raised. Serve immediately. 
Soufflé can be served with a dollop of yogurt or a slight grating of nutmeg. 
Alternatively, sweet potato is a good substitute for pumpkin. 


            Pseudo Nutritional Analysis: Egg whites are one of the purest forms of protein. Pumpkin is naturally sweet with prominent fiber content (3g of fiber in 1 cup) along with rich sources of potassium and beta-carotene, which has been studied to prevent cancer. The amount of sugar in this dessert equates to about 1/6 cups per serving, which is about 1 Tbsp in a serving (~48 calories). The good thing is that the protein and fiber will slow down the absorption of sugars in the digestive tract and prevent insulin from surging in the blood. Also the added cinnamon is a glucose regulator, and has benefits in regulating blood sugar. In the end, everything you eat must be justified with the amount of physical activity you do in order to balance out the input with the output. Happy cooking, happy eating, happy exercising!  

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