Autumn brings not only the changing hues of leaves and the comforting fall aromas, but also the delicious tastes of pumpkin season.
There are many different types of dishes that can be prepared, ranging from the typical pies we anticipate all year long, to something a little more unusual such as pumpkin pancakes.
While purchasing canned pumpkin puree to make your October treats may be easier, it may lack the fun and memories that using a real pumpkin could create.
When picking out a pumpkin for baking purposes, you will want what is often called a “pie pumpkin.” These pumpkins are smaller, weighing only a few pounds and are a lot easier to manage while working with in the kitchen.
RecipeTips.com suggests that each pie pumpkin will contain roughly one cup of puree per pound, which will give you an idea of how many pumpkins you will need to make all of the dishes you want to try.
Homemade pumpkin puree can be a little time consuming, but is not difficult. Once you have the pumpkin home and cleaned, after removing the stem the pumpkin can be cut in half. Remove the fibers and seeds, and either discard them, or save them for later.
Coat the inside of the pumpkin halves with vegetable oil and place them in a roasting pan, while adding one cup of water to the pan. RecipeTips.com suggests roasting the pumpkins at 350 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes.
Afterward, allow the pumpkin to cool and then the inside of the pumpkin flesh can be placed in a bowl and mashed. The last step required is to drain the excess moisture with coffee filters, and there you have your own homemade puree, ready to use for pies or even smoothies.
To make use of all available parts of a pumpkin, Nick Nichols of Oak Haven Farms in Holly suggests roasting them.
Once you have gutted your pumpkin, clean all of the pulp from the seeds, and let them dry. Afterward, you will want to store them in a cool place without sunlight. When you are ready to roast them, set your oven to 350 degrees and place the seeds inside for 30 to 60 minutes. When finished, the seeds should appear a light golden brown.
If you find the tastes of the pumpkin seeds lacking, there are several ways you can spice them up. Before roasting the seeds, try mixing them in a bowl with melted butter. You can experiment with other tastes as well, adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cayenne pepper, or any other seasoning you think may taste good.
If you want to try a pumpkin flavored drink, this smoothie may do the trick
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk or vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. brown sugar
4 ice cubes
Combine ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Pour the smoothies into small glasses (this drink is rich) and garnish each with a dollop of vanilla yogurt or whipped topping. For a fun touch, add a pinch of cinnamon or a few colored sprinkles. Serves 2 or 3.
Pumpkin pies may be a good dessert, but this recipe will allow for a breakfast meal with the similar taste.
1 ½ cups of milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 T. brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground allspice
1 t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground ginger
½ t. salt
In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.