1.Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy insides (reserve the seeds if you wish to make pepitas).
2.Steam the pumpkin halves (which might need to be cut in half again if the pumpkin is especially large) in the microwave or on the stovetop. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin.
3.Once the pumpkin has steamed, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and discard the skins.
4.Puree the flesh in a blender or food processor until smooth. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
Pepitas is the Spanish word for pumpkin seeds and is the commonly used name for roasted pumpkin seeds. Theses roasted seeds have a nice nutty flavor and can be eaten as a snack or thrown into a salad.
1.Once seeds are removed from the pumpkin, rinse them with cold water in order to clean off any pulp. This is easiest to do before the pulp dries.
2.Spread seeds out onto a few paper towels and allow them to dry.
3.Heat the oven to 350°F and drizzle the seeds with a small amount of canola oil (be careful that the seeds aren’t swimming in the oil) and salt. Toss the seeds to coat in the oil and salt.
4.Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
5.Feel free to mix this recipe up – drizzle the seeds with lime juice and cayenne pepper before baking for a Southwestern flavor. Or, sprinkle the seeds with your favorite BBQ seasoning for barbecued pepitas. The choices are limitless so be creative!
Simple Pumpkin Pasta (serves 6-8 people)
This is a hearty dish that is perfect for cool October evenings. The nuttiness of the whole wheat pasta holds up well against the pumpkin flavor. This dish is vegetarian, but if you are in need of meat, a healthy chicken sausage would pair up nicely with the pasta.
-6-8 servings of whole wheat spaghetti
-2 large shallots, finely chopped
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-3 cups pumpkin puree
-1 handful of fresh sage, finely chopped
-1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-salt and pepper
– shredded parmesan cheese to top the finished dish
1.In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and allow to cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another minutes.
2.Add the vegetable broth and pumpkin puree to the pan and stir all together. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sage and a little salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
3.Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Once it is cooked, add it to the pan and toss to coat. Top the finished dish with lots of shredded parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
This hummus is simple and delicious. It can be prepared a day or two ahead and stored in an air tight container. It is a great, healthy dip for holiday parties.
-2 cups pumpkin puree
-3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste, look for it in the international section of the grocery store or at a specialty shop)
-approximately 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (more for a spicier hummus)
-1 garlic clove, chopped
-a pinch of salt
1.Put all ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor and blend. Slowly stream in the olive oil until hummus reaches desired consistency (this might require more or less than the recommended 2 tablespoons).
2.Taste hummus and add more salt and cayenne pepper, if necessary.
3.Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, crackers, fresh veggies, etc.
This bread is moist and flavorful, while low in fat and not overly sweet. It makes for a great, healthy breakfast or snack.
-1 cup all purpose flour
-2/3 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 tablespoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon allspice
-1 cup sugar
-1 egg white
-1 whole egg
-1/4 cup canola oil
-1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
-1/3 cup water
-1 cup pumpkin puree
1.Preheat oven to 350° F
2. Put all dry ingredients (from all purpose flour until allspice) in a bowl and mix together with a whisk.
3.Beat together sugar, oil, egg white, and egg until well blended.
4. Add in the buttermilk, pumpkin, and water, and mix until blended.
5. Mix the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture, until just blended.
6.Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and fill with the batter, bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
These tasty moist cookies are super simple. The nutmeg and cinnamon make them taste like the holidays. The pureed pumpkin adds plenty of moisture to the cookies, therefore the fat content is not as high as many other varieties of home baked cookies. Feel free to add chopped nuts or chocolate chips to these cookies.
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup butter (softened)
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1.Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients (flour through salt) with a whisk until completely combined.
3.Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth (about 5 minutes).
4.Add the egg to the butter and sugars and mix until completely combined, then add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until all is well combined (about 3 more minutes).
5.Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a little at a time. Make sure all is thoroughly mixed; however be careful not to over mix or the cookies will become tough.
6.Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto ungreased baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a plate.
Yield – 3 dozen cookies