Pumpkin season is in full swing!
Did you buy fresh pumpkins and don’t know what to do with them?
It’s fun to carve pumpkins with our kids, and they make great decor, but at some point, you realize that you should do something with them. What drives me crazy is the thought that there are too many children on this earth who suffer from hunger, and my heart can’t let a pumpkin go to waste. Therefore, my goal for today’s post is to open your eyes to a world of “all things pumpkin.” These are some great ideas to incorporate into your Thanksgiving dinner as well.
I will start by showing you how to prep your pumpkin in two different ways and the different recipes that can be prepared. I used my daughter’s school project (a pumpkin character) to make these recipes.
Roasted Pumpkin Puree
Ideally, you must pre-cook the pumpkin to use it in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. The puree is basically a fresh take on the canned puree you find at the store without all those yucky preservatives. Homemade = Organic!
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the ‘guts.’
- Cut into large cubes (if it is a small pumpkin: only cut in half)
- Drizzle and rub olive oil all over it
- Bake on a preheated oven at 350 F for 45 minutes ‘til fork tender
- Once it has cooled a bit, remove the skin.
- Toss the roasted pumpkin in the blender, and your puree is READY!
Boiled Pumpkin Puree
You can make the same recipes made with roasted pumpkin. The only difference is that you will have to let the pumpkin strain for 30 minutes before use. To start today’s recipe medley, I will provide you with my all-time favorite first…Pumpkin cream soup!
Pumpkin Cream Soup
- In a stockpot add:
- 1 raw medium pumpkin cut into chunks (remove the skin with a knife or peeler)
- Add 2 medium white onions peeled and cut in half
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 2 bay leaves (remove after cooking)
- 1-2 envelopes of powdered chicken bouillon
- Cover in water and cook for 30 minutes.
- Ladle all the vegetables with some broth into the blender and turn until smooth. It might take you a few rounds.
- Pour into another stockpot (cook for 10 minutes) and add leftover pumpkin stock to reach the desired creaminess.
- Add 1 tsp cumin, 1tsp paprika, 1tsp chili powder, 1tsp cardamom, ½ tsp nutmeg & turmeric.
- Add 1/2 stick of butter or ½ a cup of heavy cream.
- Salt to taste
- Serve on opened and cleaned mini pumpkins or clean out one of your larger ones to use as a serving bowl.
TIP: COOK SOME PASTA AND MIX IT WITH SOME OF THE CREAM SOUP AND LOTS OF PARMESAN CHEESE TO CREATE A PUMPKIN ‘MAC AND CHEESE.’ IT IS A GREAT WAY TO TRICK YOUR PICKY EATERS TO CONSUME A SERVING OF VEGETABLES.
4 cups Vegetable or Chicken broth salted to taste
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot (minced) or 1 small onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Fresh ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
- In a medium-sized pot, heat and mix pumpkin puree and broth. Keep it on Medium-Low.
- In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt butter and saute your shallot/onion until translucent.
- Add your rice and herbs.
- Ladle your stock a bit at a time as it slowly evaporates and cooks the rice.
- The process should take 20-25 minutes (detailed instructions in your rice package).
- Once ready, mix in your parmesan cheese, top with fresh parsley, blue cheese, and even some dried cranberries.
- Eat immediately!
Easy Pumpkin Flan
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2tbsp pumpkin spice (or 1 tsp nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ½ tsp ground cloves)
¼ cup spiced rum (optional for adults only)
Insert a deep sheet pan into the oven with 1-2 inches of water
and set to 350 degrees F.
- Heat and melt 1 cup of sugar in a pot until golden or place in the microwave in a heat-proof container for 4 minutes and add 30 seconds at a time until golden. Be careful not to burn it…all eyes on the sugar!
- Pour the caramel into an 8 inch round pan and make sure caramel is spread throughout the bottom and sides.
- Blend the rest of the ingredients for about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour into a caramelized pan, cover in aluminum foil, and place on the watered pan in the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Do the toothpick check prior to the hour and remove flan from the oven once it comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven once it comes out clean.
- Let cool completely and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Place your serving plate on top and flip your flan over onto it.
Easy No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 container Cool Whip
1can sweetened condensed milk
1 block cream cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp pumpkin spice
Store-bought pie crust
Whip cream for serving and 1tsp cinnamon to sprinkle on top
- Bring ingredients to room temperature and stir them together with a hand mixer in a bowl (2 minutes).
- Pour into your pie crust and refrigerate overnight.
- When serving, top with some whipped cream and sprinkle some cinnamon.
- Make extras and freeze for a later date!
Pumpkin Spiced Latte
1 cup milk
1tbsp pumpkin puree
1tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1tsp pumpkin spice
2 shots of espresso or 1/2 cup dark roast coffee
- Add milk, pumpkin puree, and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat but do not boil.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
- Froth the milk if possible.
- Add coffee
Use your pumpkins as serving or individual bowls to spice up the look of your dinner table…