Conflict Resolution

It's the time of year when the seasons can't seem to make up their mind - one day it's summer and 70 degrees and the next day is near-winter 47 degrees.  Such conflict it causes!  Summer clothes or warm fuzzy blankets for the bed?  A summer-themed dinner or a hearty casserole served alongside root vegetables?  It's just hard to know which path to travel sometimes.     

My quest for seasonal conflict resolution landed me over at Healthy Living for Life ogling Lauren's recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Yogurt.  It's perfect for this time of year because it satisfies on a lingering warm holding-on-to-summer kind of day and it uses one of the most popular seasonal food item crazes - pumpkin. 

I tinkered with Lauren's recipe just a wee bit in order to use up what I had on hand and came up with a creamy, spiced pumpkin frozen treat.  I'm sure my end result should technically be considered ice cream instead of yogurt since I monkeyed with the fat and calorie content.  I also had all the components on hand to make my own pumpkin pie spice and have shared that recipe below as well. 

Enjoy the last of these warm days and stay tuned for more yummy pumpkin treats!

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
Makes approx. 1 quart

6 to 8 oz  cream cheese, at room temperature (I only had 6 oz on hand leftover from a previous recipe and it worked just fine, but go ahead and use the whole block if you'd like)
1-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice*  
gingersnap cookie crumbs for garnish, if desired

In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture until smooth and well-combined.  If, like me, you have a hard time making the cream cheese smooth, make sure it is softened and add it in small amounts at a time while you are mixing the other ingredients. 

Add in the milk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Beat until smooth and combined.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer yogurt into a freezer-safe air-tight container and freeze until desired consistency is reached.
Once fully frozen, take out of the freezer 15-20 minutes prior to eating for easier scooping.

Garnish with crumbled gingersnap cookies if desired. 

*Pumpkin Pie Spice

1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground cloves

Combine all spices in a small bowl and mix well.



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