Oh, for Pumpkin’s Saké


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My summer was rich with travel and experiences, some of which I have shared with you here on Iron Shawna and some of which I shared over on my other site Sustainable Seeds.  All of the travel and experience distractions have lead to a slowed pace on my video, podcast, and other materials.

School is now in session for fall, so I’ll soon be back to my regular cooking habits.  Right now, I am letting my studies marinate on the back burner of my brain while I give you two quick Iron Shawna tips: one about saké and one about pumpkin.  I promise that I’ll finish my homework right after I publish this post.


While in the Bay Area this summer, I attended an educational and fun saké tasting with some friends at Takara Sake. I liked one of my hot saké samples so much that I got a small bottle for later.

The room where I was staying had a microwave, water glasses and mugs, so I made up a kind of double boiler system with a water-filled mug with a saké-filled glass on top. Warming sake can bring out more complex flavors. Yum!

“Hotel” heating method: microwave 1/2 filled mug of water, followed by settling a glass 1/8 full of saké on top until the saké is warmed enough to drink (you can tell by looking for and sniffing the ensuing saké steam).

Shirakabe Gura Tokubetsu Junmai Saké! (yep, I thought it was a mouthful, too)


#fall #breakfast #cooking

A post shared by Shawna L Holman (@shawnalholman) on

I was inspired by a can of pumpkin I had in my pantry.  I also wanted to make something easy, healthy and original.  Here is how I made my banana pumpkin quinoa:

1. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan.

2. Add 1 cup of quinoa (rinse beforehand if yours is not pre-rinsed) into boiling water and reduce heat to low.

3. Simmer quinoa for 20-30 minutes until fully sprouted.  You shouldn’t need to drain any water from your cooked quinoa.

4. Mash/blend 1 banana and 4 ounces of pumpkin puree together.

5. Add honey and cinnamon to taste.  Leftovers can get dry, so feel free to add your favorite milk (mine is almond milk at the moment) and either eat cold or heated for any meal or snack as you wish.

**Nominal Nutritional Information for Banana Pumpkin Quinoa:

Quinoa is an excellent source of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

Banana packs a fair amount of vitamin B6, C, manganese, fiber, and potassium.

Pumpkin provides a large dose of vitamin A, as well as trace percentages of vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

Honey carries some amounts of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, iron and manganese.

Cinnamon contains a fair amount of fiber and manganese with a somewhat smaller amount of calcium.

Almond milk includes significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, manganese and vitamin E.

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