Sweet Vegan Pumpkin Knodel

This is what happens when an Austrian woman insists I take home a dozen old rolls found in the church freezer (I got lucky, there were at least 50 in there!). She told me she was using hers to make knodel. I thought I might throw mine away…but I didn’t. But I did leave them sitting out on the counter for almost a week in nothing but a plastic shopping bag. They got nice and stale.

So I thought, What the heck? Maybe I’ll try knodel. You need about 1 pound of stale bread,

cut into cubes and place in a large bowl.

Now heat 1 C milk of your choice – since we’re in the holiday season, I used this vegan nog. Heat it over medium until it begins to bubble around the edges.

Pour the warm milk over the bread cubes and gently stir to coat. Let the bread soak for 15 minutes, meanwhile…

Over low medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp of margarine and add to it 1/2 C pumpkin puree.

Stir the margarine into the pumpkin, then season pumpkin with 1 tsp gray salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a couple dashes of nutmeg.

Stir in 1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup. Remove from heat.

Now, back to the bread. Add equivalent of two eggs – I used chia eggs. Stir it up.

Next add the pumpkin.

Stir. I let it soak another 15 minutes. While it’s soaking, boil a big pot of water. The water should be about 3 inches deep.

Not the fun part – squish the mixture with your hands. Squish, squish, squish until a kind of a sticky mess forms. It’s supposed to be like dough, but mine was just a sticky mess! If it seems too wet, you may want to add some bread crumbs. I did.

With wet hands, form the dough/sticky mess into balls about the size of a tangerine. Carefully drop the balls into the boiling water.

Lower heat to a simmer, and let the dumplings simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings from the water to a serving plate.

Drizzle with maple syrup, or sprinkle the dumplings with sugar.

I used maple sugar on mine, they were great!

Sticky on the outside, moist and dense on the inside. Yum yum yum. A nice alternative to Thanksgiving stuffing!

Pumpkin Knodel
1 lb stale bread, cubed
1 C non-dairy milk (or nog! a sweet flavor is best)
2 Tbsp margarine
1/2 C pumpkin puree
2 chia eggs*
1 tsp gray salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash or two of nutmeg

*For my chia eggs, I combined 4 tsp chia seeds with about 6 Tbsps water and let it set until a gel formed. I didn’t have chia seed meal, I used whole seeds.

Lenten gruel #2, pumpkin

Today is day two of my Lenten gruel extravaganza. I had an old can of pumpkin sitting around, so I decided to go with it. I started this one almost the same as yesterday’s, by boiling about 1 cup of onions in 1 cup of water until they were clear, but I also added 1 clove of garlic, chopped.

If you want to see onions boiling, take a look at the original gruel recipe.

Next I added 1/2 cup canned pumpkin. I ended up adding a whole other cup of water because the pumpkin made the gruel so thick, and I hadn’t even added my oat flour yet.

I think I ended up adding about 1/8 cup oat flour, and 15-20 shakes of salt.  I dunno, something about the canned flavor, it needed some sprucing up…but I’m trying to stick to my original plan of nothing remotely fancy.

After I gave it a taste, I wished I could add some sort of fat. On an oil free day, like today, I would normally turn to tahini or coconut milk for that, but…I don’t think tahini would improve the flavor, and I didn’t have any coconut milk. Plus I wouldn’t want it to be sweet. So, I went for fillers instead.

These plain old, extra plain, non-flavored Kavli Crisp Breads! So tasty, like dipping cardboard in my gruel! Haha. It’s definitely better when I eat them with a spread.

While I was eating the first bowl, I realized the best thing in the world for this gruel would be to blend or process it. Eating a big chunk of onion didn’t do anything for the pumpkin flavor, but once I started chewing it was…different. In a good way. But I won’t be able to experiment with that tomorrow because I’ll be moving on to another flavor!