Eating healthy doesn’t need to be expensive, particularly if you make good use of in-season fruits and vegetables when they’re at their freshest and usually at their cheapest. Fall is not just my favorite time of year, but it’s one of the most flavorful times of year. There are all types of inexpensive, healthy, tasty ingredients for the culinary cheapskate to work with come autumn.
Two of my favorite ingredients – apples and pumpkins – are in ample supply and bargain-priced this time of year. My wife and I like to stock up on apples for the fall and winter by spending an enjoyable Saturday every year visiting some pick-your-own apple orchards in the Virginia countryside. Fresh pumpkins aren’t just Halloween decorations. It’s literally possible to have your jack-o-lantern and eat it too!
There’s something magical about the taste of apple and pumpkin combined, like in this economical and easy to make fall harvest pudding. Apples and pumpkins are two of my favorite ingredients. The only way things could get any better for this cheapskate chef is if a recipe makes use of one of my other all-time favorite things: my beloved crockpot (aka “slow cooker”). This recipe really is a trifecta of cheapskate cuisine!
Fall Harvest Pudding
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin (either fresh puree, made like this, or canned pumpkin)
- 2 large cooking apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup sugar (white, brown or mixed)
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- ½ cup Bisquick
- 3 eggs (beaten)
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine (melted)
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spices
Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter in a large bowl. Spray the crockpot with spray oil to prevent sticking and make cleanup easier. Place mixture in the crockpot, then layer apple slices evenly on top and sprinkle with remaining melted butter (you can also dust with cinnamon, if desired). Cover and cook on low for approximately 6 hours. I like to serve it warm, with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream on top.