This Homemade Pumpkin Butter Will Satisfy Any PSL Lover

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Kat Stewart was excited to be more independent when she left for college at 17. However, she didn’t anticipate how much she’d miss home-cooked meals and sitting around a table with her loved ones. The university cafeteria wasn’t quite delivering, so this Girl Scout alum decided to recreate the experience of home-cooked meals herself. She founded Hungry Twenties, a website for twentysomethings looking to find delicious recipes, and tips on cooking and hosting.

“Growing up, my mom had a set of recipes she made in rotation that are amazing,” Stewart explains to CircleAround, “but I wanted to be able to explore different cultural cuisines, have simple recipes to follow, and feel confident in doing so.”

Stewart finds ways for twentysomethings to make healthy choices with simple recipes, like her kale avocado salad, or her recipe for orange chicken that tastes better than takeout. She also offers a series of drink recipes for mocktails and for warm drinks to feel cozy in the winter months. These recipes consist of flavorful, fresh, and easy-to-find ingredients.

Hungry Twenties has more than just food and drink recipes, though. It also offers readers several party menus and hosting tips for those who want to entertain and build community around their cooking.

After college, Stewart found herself in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, where she currently runs her website and works as a private chef. Before the age of 30, she had already been hired to cook as a private chef, cater an event, and she even developed an original recipe.

“I am focused on sustainability with all of my meals and all branches of my business,” she says. “I try to use locally grown products and reusable, sustainable materials in my meal prep service, as well as in my private chef events.”

During the pandemic, she led interactive cooking experiences virtually. Now, she is working on ways to recreate these experiences safely in person, as meal-based gatherings are on the rise again. “I will cook alongside a small group of clients to teach cooking techniques, while preparing appetizers, cocktails, and a main course,” she says. “It’s a true cooking show in your personal space.”

While she enjoys creating thoughtful, diverse menus and experiences, Stewart finds sourcing ingredients for her recipes and clients in Colorado a challenge. “Living in the Rocky Mountains is amazing for outdoor activities and being close to nature, but it does not make for well stocked grocery stores,” she tells CircleAround. “This makes traveling and immersing myself in new cultures and markets one of my all-time favorite things to do.”

While Stewart still faces some challenges, she finds having her own brand and several revenue streams rewarding. “Starting your own business is rewarding,” she adds. “You may not know what you want to do exactly and that is okay, it will come to you when you are ready. The road to entrepreneurship is challenging. It takes hard work and self-awareness. But know your efforts will be rewarded.”

For a seasonal snack with a healthy kick, Stewart shares her recipe for pumpkin butter, which can be enjoyed beyond the fall and winter. She often pairs it with ricotta cheese spread on slices of toasted bread.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

(Makes 2.5 cups)

30oz canned organic pumpkin purée

1/2 cup dark brown sugar 

1/2 cup water 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup maple syrup (medium or dark amber)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

Instructions:

1.  Combine all pumpkin butter ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

2.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring often, until the pumpkin has become caramelized and dark brown. 

3.  Transfer pumpkin butter to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for at least two weeks.

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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