Pumpkins can be used as more than just decoration this Halloween. As you and your children are carving jack-o-lanterns this year, put an extra pumpkin to use in festive fall recipes. Cooking with fresh pumpkin is easy, delicious and versatile.
Start with a quick pumpkin puree and use it in any recipe where you would normally use canned pumpkin. A 5-pound pumpkin will give you around 4 ½ cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin (compared to about 2 cups from a can).
Pumpkin Puree Recipe
Cut the pumpkin in half, and remove the seeds, pulp and stringy inside bits. Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and peel. Put in a large pot and cover with slightly salted water. Boil for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Mash and puree in a blender or food processor. Once it has cooled, use it immediately or freeze it for future use.
Seasoned & Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds just yet! Rinse them well, coat with a tablespoon or two of melted butter and sprinkle with Italian or Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and a little brown sugar. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes or until crunchy and browned.
Pumpkin-Walnut Pancakes or Waffles
Add a cup of fresh pumpkin puree, a cup of chopped walnuts, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and nutmeg to your regular pancake or waffle batter for a new spin on breakfast. Serve with syrup and a glass of milk, and you might believe it’s as good as pumpkin pie.
This subtle sweet and spicy dip is perfect served with graham crackers, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers.
Mix the following together with a hand mixer or food processor:
- 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces cream cheese
What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?