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Fall in love with pumpkin

By on October 9, 2008

pumpkin

Cool weather brings cravings for comfort-food favorites. One of my favorite autumn flavors is pumpkin. Pureed pumpkin is versatile and can be mixed into a variety of foods, such as chili, mashed potatoes, spaghetti sauce, oatmeal and applesauce. Add small amounts, from a tablespoon to 1 cup or more, until it suits your taste.

To make your own pumpkin puree, cut small sugar-pie pumpkins in half, scrape out the membrane strands and seeds, and place halves in a baking pan with 1 cup of water. Cover pan with foil. Bake in the oven for 60 to 90 minutes at 350 F. Check for softness after 60 minutes, and remove from oven if done. Let cool. Peel and cut pumpkin away from skin, and puree in blender or food processor. Drain the puree on cheesecloth in a colander to remove excess water.

Adding pumpkin is the perfect way to include added nutrition to dishes, and it’s delicious. Try the following pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Shake

1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup frozen concentrated orange juice
1 quart vanilla ice cream

In blender, add all ingredients and blend until smoothly combined. — Kathy, Texas

Pumpkin Bread

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup solid-pack pumpkin or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nuts, salt and spices. In a bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, milk and eggs. Add dry ingredients and softened butter. Mix until well combined. Stir in nuts. Spread into well-greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for 45 to 55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Yield: 1 loaf. — Heather, New York

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin-Pie Pudding

1 can (15-ounce) solid-pack pumpkin or 15 to 16 ounces fresh processed pumpkin
1 can (12-ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla
whipped topping, optional

In a large bowl, mix together the first eight ingredients. Transfer to a slow cooker coated with a nonstick cooking spray. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Serve in bowls with gingersnaps and a whipped topping or vanilla ice cream. — B.N., Pennsylvania

Apple-Pumpkin Butter

1-3/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (15-ounce can)
1 cup peeled and grated apple
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/2 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. — Denise, Illinois

You might also want to know how to roast pumpkin seeds.

photo by World resources institute

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About Sara Noel

Sara Noel owns Castalia Coffee Roasting Company, Follow me on Twitter

3 Comments

  1. Trevor

    10/10/2008 at 1:32 am

    Your pumpkin bread sounds absolutely AMAZING! There a place locally here called Great Harvest Bread that makes some of the all-time greatest pumpkin break; it would sure be nice if we could make it ourselves! My wife will love this recipe. Thanks for the post.

    By the way- love the blog! :)

  2. LC

    10/12/2008 at 11:53 pm

    See that Apple-Pumpkin Butter recipe? Start making that NOW for gift giving at Christmas!! You can put them in jelly jars and whip up a spice bread, pumpkin bread ect and put it in a beautiful basket. Decorate the jar with a green and red ribbon around the neck of the jar. put beautiful paper in the basket and place bread and spread in the basket! Now who would not love that?

  3. Sara Noel

    10/13/2008 at 12:04 am

    Thanks LC. Unrelated to pumpkin (but related to homemade gifts), on the forums there was a recent discussion on chocolate dipped pretzels. The original poster was making them for herself, but they make a great gift, too. I mention this now because I was thinking about the jars you mentioned. You could line a mason jar with colored paper shred and fill it with cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, homemade candied nuts (here’s a recipe from Slashfood: http://www.slashfood.com/2006/10/24/candied-pecans-easy-and-addictive/)or homemade caramel popcorn etc. Tie a pretty organza bow and it’s a beautiful gift. Or you could place it in cellophane bags. They’re very cheap at the dollar store.

    I try to motivate people starting Dec. 26th. ;) I must say “This would make a great homemade gift” 1000 times throughout the year.

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