Praise for Pumpkin

Now that Halloween is over, I’m left with a multitude of pumpkin.  It’s not the first squash I reach for when I am cooking, as the flavour is so mild.  I have found ways to make it lovely though, and have been cooking with it for the last week or so.  I brought the pumpkins inside, cleaned, peeled and cubed them.  I had three giant bags of pumpkin in my fridge, as well as all the seeds.  Now we have just two bags left, which are slated to become pumpkin pie leather (I’ll report on that once we’ve completed it!)  In any case, here are some of the culinary delights I’ve come up with so far…

Oven Baked Pumpkin (sorry, no photos!)

I took cubed pumpkin and spread it on my bakeware.  I cut chunks of butter on top.  Drizzled some maple syrup over it and sprinkled it with cinnamon.  I baked it at 400 degrees.  I turned it over after about 30 minutes, then baked it for another 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and browning on the bottoms.  It was delicious.  I served it to company, and got rave reviews!  Nothing like easy and delicious!

Pumpkin Seeds

I prepared the seeds in a similar way to the oven baked pumpkin.  After scooping them out and washing them in a sieve, I cut butter chunks on top and sprinkled with spice mixes we have.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so, until the seeds are golden brown.  I flipped them once halfway through cooking.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

This one is a tried and true recipe for us.  I make it every year, and it’s delicious!  It also freezes very well.  I usually freeze after I’ve fried the garlic and onions, but before cooking the rest of the ingredients so that I can take it out of the freezer and put it right in the slow cooker on a day when I don’t have time to make dinner.

Serving Size : 6

Ingredients:

3 cups chopped onion

3 cups chopped red bell or green pepper (or a combination)

2 garlic cloves — minced

2 tsp chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled pumpkin — (about 1 pound)

3 cups cooked or canned beans
 (kidney, pinto, or other similar substitute)

1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn or diced carrots

1 teaspoon salt

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes — undrained

Method:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Place onion mixture in slow cooker. Add pumpkin and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until vegetables are tender and chili is thick.

For stovetop cooking, allow at least an hour, covered, on low to cook until pumpkin is tender.

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7 comments

  1. Don’t forget to put the pumpkin shell face down on the compost pile. You’ll be amazed at the gathering of worms inside working what’s left of the ‘meat’ down to the very thin shell. When I was more ambitious I’d offer to pick up people’s pumpkins when they were done with them (On my bicycle, of course) One year I got about twenty pumpkins. I hacked them up with a machete and laid them three or four at a time on my worm bed. It’s fun to check them from time to time to watch the progress.

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