One pumpkin per kid, four kids. That's a lot of pumpkin guts!
It is the day before Samhain, also known as Halloween. I spend this day preparing the pumpkins for tonight, when my kids will carve the lovely orange orbs. We try not to waste much, so there will be quite a few pumpkin infused meals in the days to come.
Cleaning Out Pumpkins My two-year-old son is helping gut the gourds. This wonderful new Super Goop Scoop works very well, and leaves the inside fairly smooth (compared to the old scoops, doesn't leave a bunch of danglies). I separate the seeds, the strands (dark stringy stuff that hangs loosely inside), and the pulp (scraped from inside wall).
Roasted Seeds Fresh pumpkin seeds (from 2 average pumpkins) 1 tbsp olive oil (or butter) 1/2 tsp salt (I used smoked sea salt) 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/8 tsp Chipotle powder 1 tsp brown sugar Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl, toss seeds, oil, andseasonings. Spread seeds evenly on cookie sheet and place in preheated oven. Roast 50 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy!
[Sweet] Pumpkin Butternut Squash Chili 1 lb ground beef, browned and strained 1 can red beans 1 can pink or pinto beans 1 large butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1 cup pumpkin strands (or puree--my kids like the stringy texture of the strands) 1 can diced tomatoes (Italian seasoned) 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tsp garlic powder 1 to 6 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp Chipotle powder 1/2 tsp nutmeg Slow-cook all ingredients on low 3 hours. Top with shredded cheese and/or sour cream. Serve. (Serves 6 to 10)
Apple Pumpkin Compote (or Whoops! I Broke the Pie) 2 Cups apple slices, peeled and cored 1/2 cup pumpkin strands 2 tsp butter 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp cinnamon french vanilla ice cream sugar wafers or pizzelle cookies (pictured) On medium-low heat, melt butter. Add sugar and cook until smooth liquid. Add apples, pumpkin, and spices. Cook, stirring frequently, until apples are tender. Spoon into a bowl, top with a scoop of ice cream, garnish with wafers or cookies, and serve!
Pumpkin Puree (in progress) 3 cups pumpkin pulp 2 teaspoons water Slow-cook on low 4-6 hours. Puree in a blender or food processor, adding 1 tsp water, as needed. (Try not to water it down too much.) Bag it and freeze it, or use it immediately in your favorite recipes.
Bread for the Dead It is a tradition in our household to place a loaf of bread on our patio table to provide nourishment for our dearly departed visitors. (Since squirrels and such tend to also make a meal of it, I try to make it critter-friendly.) 1 c flour 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup dark brown sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp allspice 1/4 tsp cloves 1 cup pumpkin puree 1/2 cup oil 3 Tbsp maple syrup 3 Tbsp water 1/2 cup sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds or pepitas (optional topping) Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.In a large bowl, mix together flours, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, syrup, and water. Add wet mixture to dry; combine until just moistened. (The batter will be very thick; don’t worry!) Fold in sunflower seeds. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes or until top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 20 minutes; use a butter knife to gently loosen bread from sides of pan, then invert onto a cooling rack.