Pumpkins are a super food. They probably won’t make a list as such, but 100 gr. only has 26 calories. They are high in fiber, vitamins a, c and e. Plus, they taste so good, even people who “hate vegetables” will eat them. If you are trying to lose weight, they can your best friend. If you want to talk about hunger in the world, they are prolific and one good sized pumpkin can produce 8 cups of food. Even the seeds make a tasty, healthy snack.
I just got one from a friend, and that’s what prompted this blog. I quartered it, put it in a pan with some water in the bottom and baked it in the oven at 350 until the skin darkened and the flesh was soft. I can’t recommend a time, since they vary so much in size, but I would say about an hour. Then I scooped all the flesh out and threw away the skin, into my garden for compost. I also scooped out the seeds and put them in a shallow pan. I have an oven over my fireplace, so I dried and toasted them there, with some olive oil and salt. This was a decorative pumpkin. They aren’t supposed to be as flavorful as pie pumpkins, but it tastes great to me. I would recommend pureeing them before eating, if you are used to canned. I was surprised at how close to spaghetti squash the texture was.
First, I pureed some and added it to vanilla ice cream with some of the traditional pumpkin spices, to make a lower calorie desert. Very tasty. I added some to my oatmeal this morning, along with some molasses and spices. Pumpkin is not overwhelming, so you can add it to a variety of things. If you live with people who are used to you trying to make everything healthier, and very suspicious, this isn’t kale, it won’t turn your food green, and it doesn’t announce itself. You can sneak it into the meatloaf, oatmeal, and spaghetti sauce. You can serve it openly in breads, cakes pies and puddings. It can go savory as well. You can make soup, or stew out of it. You can use it in place of the oil in cake and cookie recipes. You can serve it by itself, either with salt and butter, maybe some sage, or go sweet and add brown sugar and cinnamon. How about a pumpkin smoothie? Just take some pumpkin, milk, molasses and pie spice, and there you go. Add your protein powder and you are all set.
Ok, so could I torture you with all this talk about pumpkin and not throw in some recipes?
Here’s one from my daughter: