Cara Price of the Nourished Body and Soul Shares a Favorite Healthy Holiday Dessert

Cara Price, creator of the Nourished Body and Soul blog, says cooking together nourishes the family in more ways than one—especially during the holidays.

“I grew up with a large extended family, so for me, food has always been a big part of enjoying the holidays with family and friends,” she says.

Cara has continued the tradition with her own family.

“We have very special memories of cooking and baking for holidays, and those are the times that really matter.”

This month, Cara shares with us her gingersnap pumpkin trifle.

“Since I love dessert, I wanted to be able to share a healthy, holiday-inspired flavor,” she says. “The pumpkin trifle combines three layers of individual flavors that together create a delightful and distinctive dessert infusion. When served in mason jars, this pumpkin trifle can take on a casual, vintage feel, or it can be served in nicer ramekins to dress it up.”

Cara believes in a whole foods-based, nutrient-dense approach to eating. Her recipes reflect her dedication to foods that are found in nature. For her festive roasted sweet potatoes with spiced pumpkin seeds recipe, visit CrossTimbersLifestyle.com. For more recipes and inspiration, visit TheNourishedBodyAndSoul.com.

Gingersnap Pumpkin Trifle

Ingredients

Whipped Cream Layer:

Coconut cream from 1 can of full-fat coconut milk*

4 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Pumpkin Layer:

1 can pure pumpkin

1 can full-fat coconut milk

3 1/2 ounces dried, pitted dates (about 1/2 cup packed)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

10 drops clear liquid stevia (optional)

Gingersnap Layer:

5 1/2 ounces dried, pitted dates (about 2/3 cup packed)

1 cup pecan halves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

6 8-ounce jars or small ramekins

Directions

1. In a blender, combine coconut cream, honey and coconut oil and blend on high until thoroughly mixed.

2. Scoop the “whipped cream” out into a small bowl and refrigerate while you complete the rest of the steps. Wipe out the blender with a paper towel.

3. In the same blender, place all of the ingredients for the pumpkin layer and blend on high for 60 seconds, continuing to process in additional 10-second increments, if necessary, in order to make sure dates are pureed and mixture is smooth.  Set aside.

4. In a food processor, place 5 1/2 ounces of dates and pecan halves. Process for 20-30 seconds to achieve a crumbly texture. Add ginger, salt and nutmeg and pulse 5 to 7 times to blend spices well.

5. To layer trifle: Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the pecan mixture in the bottom of each jar. Then place a layer of pumpkin mix about 1/3 of the way up each jar. Spoon just enough of the whipped cream into jars to cover the pumpkin. Place another 1 tablespoon of pecan mixture in jars. Equally divide remaining pumpkin mixture into jars and then divide remaining whipped cream over pumpkin. Sprinkle tops of each trifle with the remaining pecan mixture.

*By refrigerating a can of coconut milk upside down for 48 hours, the cream firms up on the bottom of the can. Gently turn the can right side up when taking it out of the refrigerator and open. Pour liquid off cream and reserve for another use. Then scoop cream out to use. The liquid on top of the can will be like milky water. If for some reason the cream didn’t harden, just pour off liquid until you begin to see the coconut milk and use that part; it will still work even in liquid form.
 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

10 dried figs, stemmed and cut into fourths

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

6-8 sprigs fresh thyme

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted

4-6 dashes hot pepper sauce

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

Quality spray oil

Freshly ground salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place pumpkin seeds in a medium bowl.

3. Mix 1/2 teaspoon olive oil with hot pepper sauce and pour over pumpkin seeds. Stir to coat.

4. Sprinkle salt, cumin and chili powder over seeds and stir again.

5. Place seeds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 7 minutes. 

6. Remove pumpkin seeds from oven and allow to cool while completing the rest of the recipe.

7. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

8. Lightly spray cookie sheet with oil.

9. Place potatoes on cookie sheet in a single layer and lightly spray tops of potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with nutmeg.

10. Bake potatoes 40-45 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.

11. When there are 15 minutes left on the timer for potatoes, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to large flat-bottomed skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and brown 8-10 minutes, stirring often.

12. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

13. Stir in chopped figs and continue cooking for 1 more minute; remove from heat.

14. Remove potatoes from oven and season with freshly ground salt.

15. Place potatoes on a serving platter; spoon fig and onion mixture over it. Garnish with spicy pumpkin seeds and thyme. 

16. Serve immediately.