Pumpkin is a festive vegetable, used to decorate for Hallloween and most commonly cooked for the tasty pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Growing up we would get a pumpkin from the store, carve a triangle face and bake the seeds, throwing the bright orange flesh away (gasp!!). I do not like wasting food so I decided to make full use of my sugar pumpkin.
First roasting it for its flesh for a thick and creamy virgin pumpkin latte and then roasting the seeds for a spicy, crunchy snack.
I had never roasted a pumpkin before and it turns out its really easy. The flavour and look is much different than the canned pumpkin puree--bright orange with a fresh taste. Pumpkin is abundant in carotenes (gives it its orange color) which is protective against disease. The pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, protein and other minerals.
(instructions from Elana’s pantry)
1. Wash sugar pumpkin well, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and middle and set aside to retrieve the seeds after.
2. Lay the pumpkin halves face side down in a large baking dish with ¼ inch of water on the bottom.
3. Uncovered Bake at 350 F for 45-60 minutes until the flesh in tender. Scoop out insides and its ready to use.
This is the sugar pumpkin halves flipped over after coming out of the oven face side down.
See how bright orange the flesh is.
The pumpkin flesh can be stored in a glass container for up to 5 days (use in smoothies, lattes, muffins, pies, cakes etc.)
¾ cup sugar pumpkin, fresh cooked
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
½ tsp honey
2 Tbsp water
2-3 tsp black-strap molasses (I used 3 because I like the flavour)
1. Place all ingredients into Vitamix and blend on high for about 1 minute until desired consistency is reached -- smooth, thick and creamy! You will start to see steam escape from the vented lid. If using another high powered blender, blend until smooth then transfer to pot and bring to a boil and simmer until it reaches the consistency you desire.
Note: If you find the Latte too thick, add more water or almond milk until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
This is delicious cool too!
***Follow the same recipe as above and add 4-6 ice cubes to make it into a Pumpkin Smoothie.***
Seeds from 1 sugar pumpkin, washed and dried
About 1-2 tsp coconut oil
Couple pinches cayenne pepper
Couple pinches Himalayan seat salt
2. Put 1 tsp coconut oil in a pot and heat until melted, put pumpkin seeds in and toss until all seeds are moistened. Season with salt and cayenne. Toss until seeds well coated.
3. Pour onto parchment paper, spread out and bake until seeds are browned and move freely on parchment (about 15-20 minutes). They should be crisp and crunchy, not chewy. Let cool and store in airtight container.
Note: You can dress your pumpkin seeds in so many ways, including garlic powder, dill, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom.
Pumpkin is a winter squash, along with acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash. It has a hard shell and inner flesh that is mildly sweet in flavour and finely grained in texture. Small sugar pumpkins are the culinary variety weighing only a few pounds (orange with small subtle brown freckles), as opposed to the larger varieties used to carve jack-o-lanterns.
Pumpkins, like other richly colored vegetables, are excellent sources of carotenes. They are also a very good source of vitamin C, B1, folic acid, pantothenic acid, potassium, B6, niacin and dietary fiber. They are also a source of phosphorus, silicon, iron, magnesium and calcium.
Don’t throw away the seeds because they are high in zinc and other minerals (phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese and copper). They are also a good source of vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, protein, monounsaturated fats and phytosterols. The high levels of essential fatty acids, zinc and phytosterols make them beneficial for prostate conditions.
Pumpkin can be added to smoothies, lattes, bread, cake, muffins, casseroles and pie recipes. Pumpkin seeds are quite healthful and tasty to snack on.
Maybe this year i will carve a more challenging face into my pumpkin, but this one is pretty good.