Repurposing Your Pumpkins: Recipes to Enjoy Throughout the Fall

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Pumpkins here, pumpkins there, pumpkins EVERYWHERE!

Something about the bright orange color of pumpkins makes us smile and gives us all the feels for the fall season. We go pumpkin picking, visit pumpkin patches sponsored by churches, walk by them at the store, overload our homes with them, and overspend in pumpkin spiced lattes.

We carve them and decorate our homes with them, but what do you do with your pumpkins after?

Do you throw them away?

But do you realize you are throwing food away? It breaks my heart to see fresh pumpkins rot away in the fields, in people’s homes, and the grocery store.

This post is not meant to be nostalgic or emotional but constructive. I want to show how easy it is to repurpose your pumpkins the best way I know how…through cooking!

These are some great ideas to incorporate into your Thanksgiving dinner as well.

I will show you how to prep your pumpkin two different ways, along with a few recipes with them. 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 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 sliced 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 INTO CONSUMING A SERVING OF VEGETABLES.

Caramelized Maple Pumpkin

  • 3 cups diced pumpkin in small cubes
  • 1 onion roughly diced
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup give or take
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Cracked salt and pepper.

Sauté the onion followed by the pumpkin and the whole garlic cloves for 5 minutes on high heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss until caramelized for about 10 minutes. Adjust the sweet/salty flavor to your liking. Remove from the heat when the pumpkin is fork-tender and serve.

More Recipes

Pumpkin Risotto 

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 the pumpkin puree and broth over medium-low heat.
  • 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

6 eggs

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)

 

  • pumpkin flan

    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 to spread the caramel 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 just before the end of the baking time, 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…

PUMPKINLICOUS!

Pumpkin soup served in a pumpkin

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Kairym was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has spent her entire life immersed in different cultures. She is multilingual (Spanish, English, German, basic French) and has lived in 10 different states and countries. After her husband's active duty service, in the Air Force, was completed (2015) they decided to set roots in Pensacola with their two children Juliana (10) and Marco (7). Kairym loves to travel abroad, go to the beach, dance, paddleboard, brunch, cook, and entertain. But, what she loves most is dedicating her time and energy to her husband and kids. She is the CEO of her family and no matter how crazy mom life gets, she always finds time to whip up nice dinners from scratch. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, she has cooked more than 500 decadent meals. You can follow her culinary adventures @frommykitchentotheworld on Facebook or on Instagram at Chateaucruzlischpensacola.

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