One Bowl Mix and Bake “Pumpkin” Millet Pudding

by Maria Theresa Maggi on November 23, 2015

pumpkin millet pudding

One of the things I’m most thankful for each Fall is that it’s time to eat orange food. And one of my favorite orange foods since I was a little kid has always been winter squash. If I’m going to eat it for dinner, either stuffed or right out of the skin, two of my favorite choices are spaghetti squash or delicata squash.

delicata squash chalk pastel by Maria Theresa Maggi

Delicata is one of my favorite winter squash varieties

If I’m going to make a soup, a regular pumpkin is nice, and it’s even more festive to scoop small pumpkins out, bake them (but not too much) and make them the soup “bowls” for the actual soup. You may remember my family did this one year with Susan’s delicious Ethiopian Spiced Pumpkin Bisque.

Oddly, though, if I’m going to make a pie, I usually don’t bake a pumpkin for that. Instead I like to use a thicker, sweeter squash like  kabocha or bitter root buttercup or the one I just called “a great pumpkin” last year–because it looked like a pumpkin, but wasn’t really a pumpkin. . .

I know it’s easy to use canned pumpkin, but after tasting the sweet baked bright orange flesh of nearly any winter squash, I gladly take the time to warm my kitchen with baking one whole. As I’ve written about before, nothing could be easier. I sit it on a cookie sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment, stab it a few times with a knife and bake it at 400 for an hour. Each year at Thanksgiving I do this to make my Pumpkin Pie in the Free World or my Coconut Kissed Pumpkin Persimmon Pie. When I use winter squash I’ve baked myself as the pumpkin in pumpkin pie, I go the extra step of pureeing it in the food processor first so its texture is uniform when blended with the other pie ingredients.

I will do all that again this year so I can bring a version of Pumpkin Pie in the Free World over to Mike and Kelly’s. But some nights I just want to have something as comforting as a piece of that pie, but without all the work. So I bake myself some squash, and I make this easy pudding with some of it. It takes no utensils but a small pyrex bowl and a fork. I don’t measure anything either. I just mix it all in the bowl with the fork, bake it, and eat it. For purposes of helping you to the same treat, I will approximate amounts in the “recipe” below. This is a great  treat to make yourself and also something you can make ahead and bring if you need a vegan and gluten free dessert option alongside pie that is full of dairy and eggs and refined sugar you’d rather not eat. I have taste tested it on Mike after he assembled a new table for me, and I got a thumbs up.

Apparently Denmark has been named the happiest country on earth. They have a word to describe a cultural concept known as “hygge” that has no direct analogue in English. Apparently words like “coziness” and “togetherness” only scratch the surface of its meaning. I’m not Danish, but on a cold November evening after a brisk walk in the twilight and a full day, I think snuggling in on the couch with Romeo and a bowl of this pudding-bake comes close enough for me. Simple healthy food gives comfort and a sense of belonging to the rhythm of the seasons that just doesn’t translate into words.

My heart is full of thankfulness for these opportunities to share with you, my generous readers–I wish you all a healthy and happy Thanksgiving Day.

Maria (moonwatcher)

Leave a Comment

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pam November 24, 2015 at 2:29 pm

This sounds great, Maria. Can’t wait until I have an oven again and can try it.

Happy Thanksgiving!


2 Maria Theresa Maggi November 24, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Thanks Pam! I don’t know if you have one around during your remodel, but I bet you could do this in a toaster oven. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! xo


3 Veronica November 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm

That looks lovely and super easy! I will have to try it out. 🙂
I love that Danish word hygge – sometimes there really is that feeling that no words can quite describe. Just like your snuggling with Romeo.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Maria. I’m very thankful that we met. xoxo


4 Maria Theresa Maggi November 28, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Thanks Veronica–I, too, am thankful that we met. And yes, this is super easy, which makes it taste even better!! haha–Here’s to lots of “hygee” this season. xoxo


5 Gena November 29, 2015 at 11:42 am

I’m so with you on the quinoa/millet combination — a breakfast favorite of mine, too (and sometimes I add some amaranth, too). This recipe sounds delightful, and while I’ll probably take the shortcut of using canned pumpkin, I’m sure it’ll still feel like a satisfying, home cooked breakfast meal. Thank you!


6 Maria Theresa Maggi November 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Thanks Gena! The canned pumpkin will absolutely work–I did it once–it wasn’t quite as thick and could have used an extra date or two, but I’m sure you’ll be able to solve that difficulty in a delicious manner. 🙂


7 Lee at Veggie Quest December 8, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Hi Maria, I love orange food season too! I’m also a huge fan of delicata squash–the unsung hero of the squash world. I mean, you can eat the skin and it still tastes good. Plus, it makes the cutest little rings.

Anyhow, I love that this dessert is comforting, healthy, and uses vegetables. I have three sugar pumpkins and a kabocha squash sitting on my kitchen counter, patiently waiting to be roasted. I think after reading this that tonight will be the night! I’m also having quinoa with dinner tonight, so I’ll save some to make your yummy pudding bowl as a treat tomorrow!

I’m also glad to know that I can use kabocha squash for pie. I’d bought it because I wanted to branch out, but didn’t know quite what to do with it. 😉


8 Maria Theresa Maggi December 8, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Hi Lee–so great to hear from another orange food enthusiast who loves delicata squash!! Your sugar pumpkins and kabocha squash are all great candidates for this tasty easy dish. Here’s to vegetables for dessert. 🙂


9 elena January 4, 2016 at 2:32 am

Happy New 2016 Maria Theresa,

As I understand that quinoa has to be rinsed before cooking it. Then, how can be roasted if it is wet? Any suggestion please would be much appreciated. Sorry about my ignorance.


10 Maria Theresa Maggi January 4, 2016 at 8:41 am

Happy New Year back to you, Elena! Good question. My personal answer is that through a happy accident many years ago when I forgot to soak the organic quinoa I buy in bulk, it made no difference and was not bitter. So in my case, it’s easy to toast the quinoa because I don’t rinse it. If you need to rinse yours, the toasting process would be prolonged a bit, I imagine, because the quinoa would have to dry out first in the warm pan before toasting a little. It’s also okay not to toast it at all. It’s just a little thing I like to do to enhance the flavor, but it’s also fine if you don’t do it. Hope this helps.


11 elena January 5, 2016 at 3:00 am

Hi Maria Theresa, many thanks for your prompt reply,


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