PROBLEM: You decided
to take advantage of the fall harvest bounty and have purchased a number of
fresh baking pumpkins.. You are now in pumpkin overload.
What do you do with your baking pumpkins if you cannot use
all your pumpkin right away?
SOLUTION: Get a
handle on how much pumpkin you have and measure portions for different uses for
recipes you plan to make by freezing cooked pumpkin puree. This puree is super handy to have on hand
especially for holiday entertaining!
See? We Solved It – another
problem – how to prepare in advance to feed a crowd!
By freezing your cooked pumpkin puree ahead,
you can whip up seasonal dishes to feed the masses just by defrosting your
frozen pumpkin puree in the microwave to use right away to whip up amazing
First of all, fresh pumpkin needs to be cooked before they
are turned into puree. After removing all the seeds (to roast in the oven
later!) and strings – you have several options.
You can either bake it in the oven (cut into pieces) for an hour at 400
degrees; boil chunks of it the way you would boil potatoes before mashing or
simply microwave your pumpkin pieces about 6 or 7 minutes per pound.
Once you have cooked pumpkin – use a masher, hand blender or
food processor. Fresh pumpkin is
interchangeable with canned in recipes – so start searching for other ways to use
While you can freeze some puree in order to make your
pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, you may automatically be tired of pumpkin pie,
pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread. Now
Don’t be afraid to experiment and use pumpkin in a number of
unexpected ways. They all don’t have to be sweet, but if you choose to indulge
in sweets – you can even experiment here with pumpkin pancakes and scones. But why stop here?
Use the pumpkin in SAVORY ways!
Of course you can always make pumpkin soup. Remember you can freeze the soup if you make
You can use the pumpkin puree and mix it with ricotta
cheese, herbs like fresh sage, black pepper and salt and make yourself a tasty ravioli
You can also use the pumpkin puree as a sauce for chicken,
pork and pasta!
Start with a roux of butter and flour, cook for a minute or
two to cook out the flour taste. Add the pumpkin puree and some heavy
cream. Season liberally with salt,
pepper and herbs and you have yourself a versatile sauce. Whether it’s chicken breasts, pork chops, or
rotelle pasta – you’ll find this sauce to be delicious as a compliment to
whatever you cook.
You can use this same sauce over enchiladas (add in chopped
jalapenos for a kick!) or make a pumpkin mole for your chicken. You can also make your own pumpkin lasagna
replacing tomato sauce with this lovely thick and creamy pumpkin sauce and use
root vegetables like thinly sliced parsnips and beets in between layers of
cooked ground or shredded turkey. It’s a
delicious fall harvest comfort meal that’s healthy!
Use this same sauce over broccoli and bake it with thick
slices of onions and add in your favorite shredded cheese and chicken and top
with croutons in the oven for a delicious and comforting casserole.
You can use fresh pumpkin puree in place of any recipe that
calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup.
By doing so, you have a more nutritious, vitamin-packed dish that has
more fiber, less sodium and less calories automatically, plus you’re adding the
power of another vegetable to the mix. So
how about that old dusty recipe for green bean casserole… won’t it be a fun and
interesting twist this holiday to have pumpkin puree in there instead. You can still add in sliced mushrooms and
onions if you’d like and top with French-fried onions. No one will be expecting the pumpkin twist!
Remember that pumpkin is like squash – it is very adaptable
for many recipes. Use it where recipes
call for butternut squash. You will find
more possibilities open up when you remember that vegetables can compliment
other vegetables and often replace them in other ways.
Whatever you do - you can feel good
about it. Pumpkin packs lots of vitamins and beta carotene and
fiber! It also makes a fantastic smoothie!
Be creative. Try something new and
different with your sea of pumpkins you turn into fresh puree. Enjoy new
dishes and celebrate the season.
& Tess – We Solved It
for everyday PROBLEMS