Pumpkin Challenge 2016: Welcome! Days 1-3

For the previous 5 years, I devote one part of each October day to consuming something with pumpkin in it. It started as a shared challenge (thank-you, J.A.) and has since become one of my favourite personal projects (in addition to the Hot Chocolate Festival – but that’s for another time). Unlike my chocolaty winter challenge, there is no higher purpose being served by my participation in this challenge – only my own personal satisfaction from discovering new foods and drinks that contain pumpkin, the joy of baking, and the delight I derive from photographing and sharing my daily selection of pumpkin consumption.

Now that we have taken some time to appreciate the noble heritage of this annual personal endeavour, I welcome you all to the 6th annual Pumpkin Challenge!

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Day 1: Pumpkin Donut HolesDoomie’s Toronto

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I began October in a new city this year – Toronto, Ontario! When I am asked what my favourite part of Toronto was, Doomie’s usually comes up first (J was also obviously a really great part). Doomie’s is a vegan junk food restaurant that prides itself on no salads but also no marring of one’s conscience:

After a delicious burger with beet “bacon” and a generous serving of “Fun Fries” with pesto (!!!), I spotted what would be the first pumpkin item of my month: Vegan pumpkin donut holes.

WHAT.

They call them Timbits, but these donuts are dense and infused with moisture and are, of course, vegan. They were served warm and topped with what I believe to be coconut or soy ice cream – so, they were amazing in a number of ways. I will be going back and I would be happy to be their Vancouver ambassador and food photographer (please).

 

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Day 2: Pumpkin Spice DoughnutKrispy Kreme

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It was a weekend of doughnuts, apparently.

 

This was an enjoyable, albeit less moist and much less v
egan, pumpkin spice doughnut. It was for dessert following a pasta lunch and while not as thrilling as my first day’s tasting, it was nice nonetheless.

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Day 3: Mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin MuffinsAverie Cooks

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My first item for sharing!

I love bringing the pumpkin in my life to those who may not be trying to consume food containing variations of this gourd every day of the month. 

These muffins, from Averie Cooks, were moist, flavourful (even with my lack of pumpkin spice ingredients), and the chocolate chips added a nice texture and flavour contrast to the sweet and fluffy muffin experience.

Audience consensus? “Delicious.”

One particularly skeptical individual said “the best vegan pumpkin muffin [he’s] ever had.” This may have been a joke, because I bet it is the only vegan pumpkin he has ever had, but he will be trying more – of this I can assure you. His opinion will be based in experience by the end of the month. 

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We’ve only just started to pump(kin) up this October party.

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