Daily Archives: November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Mania

Every year I try to buy those little sugar pumpkins so I can bake or cook with them after the season is done and put away. But as with most of my ideas I tend to put things off and then it’s too late. This year I did buy two small pumpkins and I am determined to use them to bake or cook with. Plus I love roasting the seeds to munch on. But for those of you and me most of the time, I buy the canned pumpkin to use in my recipes. And with the pumpkin shortage a thing of the past, for this year anyway, I have lots of cans just ready to be used. But besides baking what can we do with all that canned pumpkin? Remember that pumpkin is in the squash family and it’s very versatile, tasty and good for you! It’s got a lot of fiber and beta-carotene and almost no fat! Winners in my book! And with only 42 calories in a half-cup serving it’s a dieter’s dream ingredient! So today I am going to give you some tips on what you can do with all that canned pumpkin. Something besides pie that is! I usually buy Libby’s which is pretty much the most popular brand you will find on the shelves.

Tip #1:

You can make a very simple soup by sautéing an onion and adding about 4 cups of chicken broth and a 28-ounce can of pumpkin. Stir in 2-3 ounces of goat cheese and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

Tip #2:

Use canned pumpkin as a thickener. Add a cup to a vegetable chili to round out the flavor and add some thickness to the texture. You can also add this to a spicy stew or black bean soup! It’ll make a boring ho-hum recipe just burst with flavor!

Tip #3:

In making quick breads substitute canned pumpkin for half the fat. It will not only add color and flavor but it goes great with cinnamon, citrus and even chocolate!

Tip #4:

When making cheesecake, add canned pumpkin to half of your cheesecake filling, and swirl the “pumpkin” half into the plain half before baking.

Tip #5:

Mix canned pumpkin into softened ice cream and then refreeze for a quick pumpkin dessert! Yummy!

Tip #6:

Add ½ cup canned pumpkin to the cooking water for rice, millet, or quinoa.

Tip #7:

Add some canned pumpkin to white sauces; they will turn a beautiful color.

Don’t be afraid to add pumpkin to just about any dish. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how good it will taste!

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