It's Thanksgiving in the U.S. and that means this ingredient gets to shine as pie! Here in Australia the notion of eating pumpkin as other than a savory food is hard to get our heads around.
I for instance have never ever had a sweet pumpkin pie, the idea is incredibly intriguing. Yet I have had roast pumpkin everytime we have a Sunday roast. So, for this months ingredient I thought I would share pumpkin with you as a savory option for your healthy Thanksgiving meal this year.
How to Use?
Pumpkin is an extremely versatile vegetable and extremely easy to grow. So long as you have lots of water, manure and a sunny patch in the garden any pumpkin vine will be quite at home.
Once grown a pumpkin can be stored in the dark part of your pantry whole for many months. Just make sure the stem is short and woody, and once cut it must go straight in the fridge. A good tip once cut is to dust the exposed flesh with a little cornflour and then wrap in plastic wrap. This will help prevent mold.
Uses for pumpkin include:
- mashing (with potato is nice)
- roasting (in chunks, skin on - and you can eat the skin!)
- puree (babies will love the sweetness)
- soup (see recipe below - an absolute fav here in Oz)
- risotto (cube and add as flavoring)
- pasta (cube and add to a creamy sauce - nice with bacon)
- baked goods (hide in a cake or make pumpkin scones - see recipe below)
- curries (cube and add to Thai dishes or Indian curries)
- dry the seeds for trail mix
Which do I buy?
There are so many varieties of pumpkin and lots of pretty colors as well. Some are better to use for certain recipes than others, for example for a lovely sweet soup butternut squash would be better as it purees well, whereas a more robust firmer variety like Queensland blue in better for roasting.
As there are so many click on this link and it will take you to a great site listing lots of varieties.
Buying canned pumpkin is also quite acceptable as most varieties are additive and preservative free. The best canned sups to buy are:
- Bookbinders Vegetarian Butternut Squash & Mushroom Soup
- Pacific Natural Foods Organic Butternut Squash Bisque
- Health Valley Butternut Squash Soup
MOO Roast Pumpkin Seasoning
Roasting pumpkin is dead easy, just chop into large chunks, skin on, shake in a bowl with oil and then place in roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and roast until tender and brown.
What is extra yummy is if you sprinkle your pumpkin with this seasoning. Your kitchen will smell divine come Thanksgiving lunch!
Add equal parts of the following to a spice grinder and sprinkle liberally:
dried garlic (or garlic powder)
This is also delicious on baked chicken or a roast chicken!
Bec Taylor hates to cut pumpkin so gets Mr Taylor to do it ... the only good purpose for him in the kitchen! That and jar opening ...