The pumpkin has always been considered a holiday-only vegetable. As a member of the squash family, they are grown on every continent except for Antarctica. According to The Pumpkin Patch web site, the Native Americans used pumpkin for food, dried into strips and woven into mats, and used the seeds for food and medicine. Today, the pumpkin is a traditional holiday food used from October through December. In this article, you will find recipes using pumpkin in various ways as well as links to recipe and pumpkin fact web sites. Because it is so full of vitamins and minerals, we should consider using this squash year round in our cooking.
There are many sites that include facts, activities, and recipes for the use of pumpkin. Below is a list of web sites with a brief description of what is included in each site. Following the list, you will find a few recipes showing the versatility of the pumpkin in cooking and meal planning.
List of web sites:
- http://www.pumpkin-patch.com/facts.html – recipes, how to grow, Halloween ideas, jokes, and varieties of pumpkin
- Pumpkin Nook : Pumpkin Facts, Education and Information – facts, Halloween activities, recipes, and more
- Pumpkin Facts – humor, recipes, growing, record breaking pumpkins, pumpkin bowling, and more
- Libby’s(R) Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe – Allrecipes.com – most famous recipe for pumpkin pie
- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-pie-recipe/index.html – Paula Dean’s recipe for pumpkin pie with a cream cheese layer, my personal favorite
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie Recipe | Simply Recipes – unique site that has information and photos of the process of cooking the pumpkin, preparing it for the pie, and preparing a pie completely from scratch. Contains information on preparing and canning many vegetables and fruits.
My Favorite Recipes
By Elizabeth Montgomery from Taylorville, Illinois
2 cups biscuit/baking mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 can (12-ounces) evaporated milk
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl, combine the baking mix, brown sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, pumpkin, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with maple syrup.
Yield: 1 dozen pancakes
Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin Soup
From the Phase 2 Low Carb Recipes published by Better Homes and Gardens
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
¾ cup half-and-half or light cream
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 to 14 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dairy sour cream (optional)
Snipped fresh chives or green onion tops (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan, combine pumpkin, broth, half-and-half, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Bring just to boiling.
2. Ladle into soup bowls or mugs. If desired, top with sour cream and sprinkle with chives or green onion tops.
Yield: 6 servings
Pumpkin Ginger Scones
By Brenda Jackson, Garden City, Kansas
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons cold butter, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup sour cream
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and baking soda. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the egg, pumpkin, and sour cream; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges and place on a greased baking sheet. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Yield: 8 scones
Spiced Pumpkin Butter
Great with the Pumpkin Ginger Scones, toast, or biscuits.
2 cans (15 ounces each) pumpki
1 ¼ cups pure maple syrup
½ cup apple juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
Chopped hazelnuts (optional)
- In 5-quart Dutch oven, combine all ingredients except nuts. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, 25 minutes or until thick. (If mixture spatters, reduce heat to medium-low). Remove from heat; cool.
- Ladle into jars or freezer containers, leaving ½ inch headspace. Cover; store in refrigerator up to 1 week or freezer for up to 6 months.
- To serve, top with chopped nuts if desired.
Yield: 4 ½ cups butter or 36 two-tablespoon servings
Fall is a wonderful time of year that brings a chill to the air and a desire to make comfort foods and enjoy hot beverages. These recipes bring a touch of fall to the menu all year round; especially around the holidays. Enjoy the fall and experiment with pumpkin in soups, vegetable side dishes, as well as in sweets. It will boost your spirits!