Easter…Pumpkins?

First off, I would like to say that I am horrified that I can’t find my camera. Kitchenfoolery and baked goods always taste better when you can actually see them. Sorry about this. Issue fixed! Adding photos now!

That aside, I finally got around to preparing the last of our pumpkin stash. I had three left, two of which I roasted, one of which I pitched unceremoniously into the compost bin (much too soft). So far I have only used the meat from one pumpkin, and these are the four recipes I have tried thus far. I realized too late that I didn’t take any photos of the actual pumpkins before I hacked them up and cooked them. ūüė¶

I also washed, dried, and saved all of the seeds so I can plant more this year…and roast the rest. Enjoy!

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Roasted Ginger Pumpkin-Pear Soup
1-1/2 pounds fresh pumpkin, seeds and fibers removed, cut into big chunks
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing on pumpkin
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tsp salt
1-2 red or green Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and cut in chunks
4 cups chicken broth, homemade if possible
1/2 cup half-and-half (optional)

Heat the oven to 400F.
Brush each pumpkin chunk with oil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. When cool enough to handle, peel, mash, and measure 3 cups. Store the rest in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 minutes.
Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, or until translucent, stiring occasionally. Add 1 tsp of the ginger, the salt, and the pumpkin. Cook for another minute until warm.
Add the pear and broth and cook for about 20 minutes, until the pear is easily pierced with a fork. Stir in the remaining tsp of ginger.
In small batches, puree the soup in a blender or with a hand-held blender in the saucepan, until the consistency is smooth and creamy.
Return the soup to the saucepan and add half-and-half, if desired. Gently heat, but do not boil. Serve hot.
[from Pumpkin: A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel]

Notes: I didn’t have shallots, so I didn’t use them. I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Turned out well. I will definately keep this recipe on my list.

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Pumpkin Butter
2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until thickened and darkened. Stir regularly while cooking.
Cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for several weeks.
[from Pumpkin: A Super Food for all 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel]

Note: This stuff is fantastic, and we put it on our waffles this morning.

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Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 very ripe medium-sized banana
3/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt (I used Oikos 0% fat Greek vanilla yogurt)
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, making sure the ice is completely crushed.
Makes two servings
Per 8-10 ounce serving: Calories 167, Calories from Fat 5, Total Fat 0.7g (aat 0.3g), Cholesterol 2mg, Sodium 74mg, Carbohydrate 34g, Fiber 3.1g, Protein 6.6g
[from http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/breakfastandlunch/r/pumpkinsmoothie.htm%5D

Note: This smoothie came out really thick, so I added milk to thin it a little bit.

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Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
1-2/3 cups pumpkin puree
4-1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
5 tbsp raw wheat germ
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1-1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, lighlty toasted

In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup pumpkin and 1/3 cup of the flour, then stir in 2/3 cup boiling water. Allow to cool to lukewarm, then stir in the yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until foamy and bubbling, about 1 hour.
Transfer the yeast starter to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining pumpkin, honey, 1/3 cup cold water, then the remaining all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, salt, and cumin. Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 12 to 15 minutes, adding more flour as neccessary. Try not to use any more flour than you need to keep the dough from sticking. Alternatively, use a heavy duty mixer outfitted with a dough hook. Work in the pumpkin seeds.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2-1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough and form into 24 rolls. Set on two cookie sheets lined with parchment. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Bake the rolls in the center of the oven until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Rolls should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
[from The Great Little Pumpkin Cookbook by Michael Krondl]

Note: You can skip the entire yeast-rising-punching-down step if you are in a rush. Just substitute the 4-1/3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour with self-rising flour and you are all set. Also, these are great with dark chocolate morsels, too.

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I cooked waffles for the family this morning, so I am updating with a fifth recipe.

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 pinch salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 2/3 cups milk

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. In a second bowl, add eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and butter; beat well. Gently fold in the flour mixture. Cook according to your waffle iron directions. I do these in my belgian waffle iron and it uses about 1 cup batter and takes 4-5 minutes to bake. They come out a nice deep, golden brown. These are great with a little bit of syrup, but would also be great with honey butter.

[from http://www.food.com/recipe/spiced-pumpkin-waffles-67930]

Note: Something isn’t quite right with this recipe. My first waffles came apart in the middle, leaving two layers of waffle – one on the top of the waffle iron and one on the bottom. I added more flour and butter to try to correct this, and I let the waffles cook a little longer. This only moderately fixed things, as I still had to peel each waffle off of the iron with a butter knife. The flavors were really good. I will try a different recipe next time.

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And now tonight (March 31), for dinner we ate leftovers of all pumpkin dishes plus a new side that I whipped up.

Spinach and Pumpkin

1 tbsp peanut oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, cooked and drained, or 1 pound of fresh spinach, cooked and chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
1-1/2 cups roasted pumpkin, mashed
1/2 tsp salt

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the onion in the oil for 5 to 7 minutes or until soft and lightly browned.

Stir in the spinach, pumpkin, and salt. Cook over low heat, without stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until a brown crust forms on the bottom. Serve hot.

[from Pumpkin: A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel]

Note: This was Waaaay better than I expected. The ingredients are so very simple, yet this was quite a tasty dish. Both my husband and I agreed that we enjoyed the taste even more after eating this dish for a while. Also, there is a note in my cookbook that says that this is a Kenyan recipe from a book called The African Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent Simon & Schuster, 1998.

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