Halloween has been and gone. For many people that means costumes, a parties but for me it means cooking! I adore pumpkin, it has a unique taste but is so easy to cook with and at this time of year, an incredibly cheap veg!
Like others i carve a pumpkin for the girls, they draw their own design and i cut it all out. This year hubby done a big elaborate zombie so our pumpkins were mainly used for that. After halloween, the stores are desperate to get rid of their pumpkin stock. It is not uncommon in our local stores to see quite large pumpkins down to 75p or lower. As pumpkin is freezable i like to make up several batches of different things to use throughout the year.
It is important to note that pumpkin is available all year round. The much smaller cooking pumpkins have a slightly different taste but i like a bargain and 50p for a pumpkin which will give me enough for 8+ meals is brilliant in my book.
I most commonly do 3 things with a pumpkin.
- Chop it into chunks, roast and freeze for casseroles etc
- Make a puree to use in cakes and for pumpkin pies
- Roast the seeds for a healthy snack.
For those who have never cooked with a pumpkin here is my routine.
- Cut the pumpkin in half
- Scoop out the seeds and place into a bowl (ill use these)
- Cut off the stem and quarter into more manageable pieces. Place in a microwave dish with a little water and cook on high for 15-20 mins until soft.
- Once cooked peel away from the rind and either puree or roast the chunks.
If you are roasting the seeds, you will not want the gloopy orange strands. Simply place them in a bowl of water and rub in your hands till the seeds drop off. Lay your seeds in a single layer onto a tea towel or paper towels and sprinkle in a little oil or spray with frylight. Throw the orange strands away you have no use for this. They taste great with both sweet and savory flavourings. I tend to sprinkle a little nutmeg on them. Roast in the oven for around 20 mins checking them every now and again and giving a stir if needed. Once cooked simply allow to cool and store them in a ziplock bag or a container.
I've been cooking with pumpkin for a while but wanted to share some of my favourite recipes from around the web. Some i have tried and some i haven't. These are mainly American recipes but I see no reason why fresh pumpkin could not be used in place of the canned pumpkin.
Pumpkin bread: Recipe and photo by The frugal Girls
Pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes - Recipe and photo by Sally's Baking Addiction
Pumpkin Pie Fudge - Recipe and photo by Holiday Cottage
Pumpkin Carrot Cake - Recipe and photo by Gold Medal Flour
Slow cooker sticky caramel pumpkin cake - Recipe and photo by Platter Talk
Pumpkin soup - Recipe and photo by Cincy Shopper
Pumpkin Pie: Recipe and photo by Love from the oven
Pumpkin Puree: Recipe and photo by Oh the things we'll make
Pumpkin Cheesecake: Recipe and photo by Roxana's Home Baking
Caramelised Coconut pumpkin fries: Recipe and photo by Capture by Lucy