Between jack-o-lantern carving and general fall décor, you are bound to start seeing pumpkins everywhere! While they are beautiful to look at and fun to do crafts with, don’t forget that pumpkins are first and foremost a delicious and healthy vegetable. Pumpkins are dense with vitamins A and C, and full of tasty seeds rich in phytosterols, which may help to lower cholesterol. And there are so many ways to incorporate them into meals all season long. Get started by giving these recipes a try!
Remember, canned pumpkin can always be replaced by fresh pumpkin, boiled and mashed. It’ll take a little longer to prepare but taste that much fresher and is bound to be more flavorful.
Classic pumpkin pie
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough
Roll dough into an 11-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under and flute. Mix all other ingredients to make the filling and pour it into the crust. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and place baking sheet on lowest oven rack. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake an additional 50 minutes or until almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 8-inch flour tortillas, (soft-taco size)
2 cups shredded lettuce
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, corn, garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 additional minutes.
Add pumpkin, cheese, wheat germ, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper to the onion mixture; mix well. With dampened hands, form the vegetable mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Stack tortillas and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through. Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 2 to 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Adjust heat as necessary for even browning. Wrap the patties in tortillas and serve immediately, garnished with lettuce.
4 pounds pie pumpkin peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 large sweet-tart apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into eighths
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
Toss pumpkin, apples, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once, for 30 minutes. Stir in sage and continue roasting until very tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 additional minutes.
Transfer about one-third of the pumpkin and apples to a blender along with 2 cups of broth. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and repeat for two more batches. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and heat through over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent splattering, for about 6 minutes. Serve each portion topped with hazelnuts and a drizzle of hazelnut oil.
From sweet to savory, main dish to fun drink, there is a huge variety of ways to incorporate this season’s classic, bright and healthy staple into your meals. Whether in a traditional pie or a fun new dish you’ve never tried before, treat your family to a pumpkin dish this fall!