Pumpkin is a wonderful fruit*, loaded with the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene, which research indicates may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer, among the degenerative aspects of aging and other conditions. One cup of cooked pumpkin has just 49 calories.
One of the nice things about fall is that food producers launch limited-edition pumpkin flavors, from yogurt to tortilla chips.
Every morning, we’ve been enjoying this pumpkin yogurt from Siggi’s. If you can’t find pumpkin yogurt in the store, just make your own:
BLEND two tablespoons of canned pumpkin into vanilla yogurt, or into plain yogurt sweetened with a bit of maple syrup.
ADD several shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg; blend, taste and adjust seasonings.
After you’ve mixed the pumpkin yogurt, there are quite a few things to do with the rest of the canned pumpkin.
Seasonal treat: pumpkin yogurt. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
If you only think of canned pumpkin as filling for a pie, you’ve got much to discover. If you like it enough for pie, you’ll like pumpkin in other recipes as well.
Transfer leftover canned pumpkin to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge to use in everyday dishes—or buy a can just for this purpose. Add two tablespoons to 1/2 cup to everyday recipes.
Be sure to use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar and spices.
You can make the recipes sweet with some brown sugar or maple syrup, or savory with thyme and/or sage. Add pumpkin pie spices—allspice, clove, cinnamon and/or nutmeg—as you wish to sweet or savory recipes.
Beverages: Add 1/2 cup pumpkin to a smoothie with some cinnamon and nutmeg, or to a milkshake with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream; make your own pumpkin simple syrup to add to cocoa, coffee, tea or cocktails. For a creamy pumpkin cocktail, combine 2 ounces rum, 3/4 ounce pumpkin, 1 ounce half and half and 1 ounce simple syrup.
Breakfast: Add 1/2 cup to muffin, pancake and waffle batter; stir into oatmeal; make pumpkin cream cheese for bagels*.
Desserts: Add to a cake mix (chocolate, spice or yellow cake), make pumpkin brownies or chocolate chip cookies, bake a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust, make pumpkin crème brûlée, panna cotta or pudding.
Pasta & Risotto: Make pumpkin cream sauce (†see recipe below) or a lighter sauce with stock, sage, thyme; add to risotto, orzo or mac and cheese.
Sauces & Sides: Add 1/2 cup to mashed potatoes, serve pumpkin as a side dish with fresh herbs and/or pumpkin pie spices, add 1/2 cup to a cream sauce or hummus.
Soup: Mix pumpkin into chicken or vegetable stock and season. Add milk or cream for a cream soup.
Let us know your favorite pumpkin recipe.
*Mix 1/2 cup of pumpkin into softened cream cheese, with 2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. You can substantially reduce or omit the sugar or use a noncaloric sugar substitute.
†Combine in a sauce pan: 1/2 cup pumpkin with 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup quality Parmesan and a chiffonade of fresh sage (about 16 leaves, cut into thin strips). Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper. Simmer until thickened, stir in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and serve.