When the leaves start to change and the weather cools I start craving warmer foods. Most of the time I’m obsessed with cold food (see: yogurt, smoothies, ice cream, salads, etc.) But something about this time of year makes me crave chili and soup. And I don’t even like soup. Soup to me is not food. Soup is a drink. No thanks. I like chewing too much.

But I have still been having some cold foods. Like this pumpkin smoothie.

I blend one frozen banana with half a cup of pumpkin puree, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 packets of Stevia, ½ cup coconut milk and two scoops of pea protein powder. If I just want a small snack I split it in half and share with Aubrey.

It’s like a pumpkin pie. If you want a pumpkin pie “ala mode” smoothie you could replace the milk with your favorite kind of yogurt. Any way you blend it, it’s delicious.

Thanks to the tastings at New Seasons I have also been able to find a way to eat squash and actually like it. Apparently I loved sweet potatoes and squash as a child, but they are much too sweetly bitter to me now. But this last weekend I went to their squash tasting and found a couple of recipes that took squash to a whole other level. I could actually eat and enjoy it! Even if I’m sad to eat my friends Jimmy and Jerry Gourd.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to discover Veggie Tales and find out what you’ve been missing. I’d recommend the older shows, they are a lot more clever and funny than the more current ones.

But moving right along, forget about the fact that you’ve just dissected Jerry and cook him up in the microwave or oven. Aubrey and I actually cut him in half and tried one in the oven and one in the microwave. They came out tasting pretty much exactly the same, except the microwave version took waaaay less time. As in 10 minutes vs. over an hour.

I used Emily’s method for the oven version. I impatiently waited for it to cook and rest. Then I used the fancy “fork technique” also known as scraping the squash to make spaghetti-like strands. It was already seasoned with the salt, pepper, and garlic so I dug right in.

Aubrey preferred a more traditional spaghetti dish by adding some sort of sauce with mushrooms.

If mushrooms weren’t disgusting I might have added some sauce on top too, but I’m glad I didn’t because it was awesome all on its own. Paired with a bean salad and some roasted green beans it made a very tasty dinner. But that could also be because roasted green beans rock in general.

Now I just have to make sure I don’t keep eating a pumpkin smoothie every single day so I don’t turn orange again. Eh, blame my mother. Just because my favorite foods were sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash doesn’t mean you couldn’t have thrown in a green baby food in there sometime! Or maybe I wouldn’t eat them…I don’t remember.

What do you start craving when the cold weather hits?