It is the peak of pumpkin harvest time and though pumpkins are
not generally one of the more popular cooked squashes, don't be
so quick to turn it away in the kitchen. While Jack-O-Lantern
pumpkins are abundant this time of year, if you are looking to
use pumpkin for cooking, you should choose a type that is
specifically grown for baking and eating quality.
Best Cooking Pumpkin:
The sugar pumpkin - small in size, usually weighing 1.4 to 3.5
How to Purchase:
Make sure the pumpkin is bright in color, free of blemishes and
solid/dense for its size.
Pumpkins may be stored at room temperature for up to a month and
in the refrigerator for 3 months.
How to Use:
Pumpkins may be used the same as any other winter squash.
Fresh pumpkin: 5 pound pumpkin is equal to about 4.5 cups cooked
Canned pumpkin: a 15 ounce can is equal to 1.75 cups mashed
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
1 small to medium pumpkin
1 quart cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
Cut top of pumpkin (remove and save lid) scoop out all of the
stringy contents and seeds and discard. Scrape out as much
pumpkin as possible being careful not to break pumpkin shell or
make any holes in it. When you have removed all of the pulp that
you can, place the pulp in a pan and cook until soft with 1/2 cup
of water over medium heat. When the pulp is soft cool a little
and place in food processor and pulse until creamy. Grind cloves
in chopper until pretty fine and combine with other spices. Place
all ingredients except cream in large pot and bring to a boil,
reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes. If you need to, add a
little water, 1/2 cup, to keep from sticking, be sure it doesn't
scorch. Add cream and blend well, reduce heat to low and let cook
about 10 more minutes. Pour soup into pumpkin shell, replace lid
Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
Makes about 8-10.
Spicy Pumpkin Dip
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons tahini, sesame paste
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
In a food processor, process pumpkin and chickpeas until fairly
smooth. Add remaining ingredients to food processor and process
until smooth. Season to taste. Serve with pita chips.
Makes 3 cups.
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (well rounded teaspoon)
1 teaspoons nutmeg
2 1/2 cups sugar
Sift or stir all the above.
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
Spray 2 loaf pans with non-stick spray; set aside. Mix just until
creamy. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 16-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
In bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking
soda, and salt; set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat eggs, pumpkin,
sugar and oil. Add flour mixture; beat well. Stir in pecans.
Spread in ungreased 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Bake in 350
degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out
clean. Cool on wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat together a 3 ounce package cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter and
1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups sifted
confectioner's sugar, beating until smooth. Frost bars and
sprinkle with additional pecans.
Makes 2 dozen bars.
1 large can of pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Place in ungreased 9 x 13" baking pan.
Sprinkle over top:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cubes melted margarine (real butter is even better!)
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool completely before serving.
Good by itself or with ice cream.
Pumpkin with Rice Stuffing
1 5- or 6-lb. pumpkin (make sure there is a stem)
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion (to yield 1/2 cup) -- chopped
1 medium celery stalk (to yield 1/2 cup) -- sliced
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/4 cup raisins or currants
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices whole wheat bread -- cut into cubes
1 cup apple cider
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut out lid from top of pumpkin. Remove
seeds and fibers from pumpkin. Melt butter in a 10" skillet over
medium heat. Cook onion and celery in butter, stirring
occasionally until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except
cider. Fill pumpkin with rice mixture. Pour cider over rice
mixture. Cover with pumpkin lid. Place pumpkin in ungreased 8
x 8" pan. Bake for about 2 hours or until pumpkin is tender. Let
stand 15 minutes. To serve, remove lid and cut pumpkin into
Helpful Source: The New Food Lover's Tiptionary: More Than 6,000
Food and Drink Tips, Secrets, Shortcuts, and Other Things
Cookbooks Never Tell You by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
Cindy Sanchez is the owner and editor of
http://www.PracticalKitchen.com. Sign up for our Practical Recipes
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