‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin Use the seeds or puree for all kinds of recipes

RCP CONTRIBUTOR COLLABORATION

It’s autumn, the season for Halloween, and by extension carving jack ‘o lanterns and sipping pumpkin spice lattes. But pumpkins are more than a mere decoration or seasonal latte; they are chock full of nutrients like potassium and vitamin C and make a great addition to many meals.

Don’t eat a pumpkin once you’ve carved it and used it for Halloween. The pumpkin will have been exposed to bacteria for too long to safely cook and eat it. You can, however, use the pumpkin if you’ve only decorated it with food-safe paint.

Here are some ideas on how to use pumpkin.

Decorating

Carve a jack ‘o lantern or decorate a pumpkin with food safe paint for a great decoration during Halloween. | Pixabay

I like peeling the skin off and filling the pumpkin with mini lights. It makes a really cool lantern.

  • Nicola Dakers

Pumpkin seeds

After you scoop out a pumpkin, clean and set aside the seeds to spice and roast for a tasty treat. | Pixabay

Clean pumpkin seeds, spread on a cookie sheet, add a little oil and salt or seasoning of your choice, and dry in the oven for several hours. Enjoy!

  • Rebecca Lippiatt

Soup

Bake or cook a pumpkin and then puree it with stock to create an easy, tasty soup. | Pixabay

Fry one onion with butter or olive oil. Add a medium cubed pumpkin, salt and pepper, and stock. Cook and blend.

  • Rebecca Lippiatt

Oatmeal

Add ¼ to ½ cup pureed pumpkin to cooked oatmeal, along with spices like cinnamon and your choice of sweetener or milk. Top with any fruit you prefer.

  • Talea Medynski

Beverages

Starbucks isn’t the only place that offers a pumpkin spice latte. Use Google to find a variety of lattes you can make at home using pumpkin puree. | Pixabay

Save some money and make your own pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin hot chocolate, or pumpkin smoothie at home. Google to discover tons of recipes and pick which one works best for you. Here are some ideas:

Pumpkin spice latte (add 2 tbsps of pumpkin puree to the latte recipe of your choice)

Pumpkin hot chocolate (add 1 ½ tsps of pumpkin puree to homemade hot chocolate)

Smoothies (depending on the recipe, add anywhere from ¼ cup puree to ¾ cup puree. Many of these smoothies use frozen banana as well).

  • Talea Medynski

At risk of jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, we make pumpkin smoothies. Blend up some roasted or steamed pumpkin chunks in with yogurt, milk, or whatever else you use, add some pumpkin spice, garnish with pecans if you like, and you get the satisfaction of eating vegetables for breakfast.

  • Sue

Bread

I found a fantastic bread recipe in an old Reader’s Digest cookbook. The recipe involved adding about a cup of pureed pumpkin to a bread recipe. It made the best, flavourful bread and would go so well with soup or stew.

  • Talea Medynski

General recipes

Add pumpkin puree to a variety of baking, such as muffins, granola bars, or cookies. | Pixabay

I roast the pumpkin whole and then scoop out the seeds. If I’m feeling energetic, I set them aside for roasting later. The pumpkin flesh gets scooped out, pureed with a blender, and frozen in two cup jars. I can then defrost the puree and use it for a variety of recipes throughout the year. Curiously, I never make pie. I use it in muffins, granola bars, and even pasta sauce!

  • Nadine Riopel

Featured Image: You can do many things with pumpkins. | Pixabay

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