Get your canned pumpkin back out folks, cause I'm at it again. This time we're mixing pumpkin with peanut butter, honey and a touch of cinnamon for a quick and nutritious dip for apples. As I mentioned in my previous pumpkin post, pumpkin is a great source of cancer fighting vitamin A. And being that this is a fat soluble vitamin, the healthy fats from the peanut butter help to enhance the absorption of that lovely orange pigment.
My co-worker Kristina and I made this dip at work for our students to try. We teach a 12 week program for middle and high school students focused on increasing their overall health and well being by incorporating physical activity, nutrition education and health behavior change. We also do a mini cooking demo each week to demonstrate that healthy eating can be easy and tasty. It's so fun! As a first job right out of school, I couldn't be more appreciative of this opportunity that came my way.
I have to say, the kids turned their noses up at the site of this dip, but after they tried it, there were no complaints. If we can get picky eating high school kids, whose palates are trained to constantly seek out junk, to enjoy this nutrient dense snack, I'm convinced that you'll like it. Unless, of course, you have some weird aversion to peanut butter, pumpkin or honey. Just kidding ;)
(Adapted from Deceptively Delicious cookbook)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (start out with mixing in 1/4 cup, as some canned pumpkin have more water in them than others and will alter the dip's consistency)
1-2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients. You may want to play around with the amounts of each ingredient to obtain your desired consistency and flavor. Refrigerate whatever is left.
Red delicious apples are a perfect match for this dip, but other fruits would work just as nicely. Bananas, pears, strawberries, whatever you like. I like the deep red skins of these apples; it's their way of enticing us to enjoy their disease fighting polyphenols, a class of antioxidants. The darker and more vibrant the color of your fruits and veggies, oftentimes, the higher the antioxidant value.