The Humble Pumpkin, Not Just for Jack-O-Lanterns!

Pumpkin as often overlooked, except during the fall decorating season and pie mania that follows. Nutritious pumpkin and their closely related cousins, winter squash, are full of flavor and possibility. The orange hued flesh is a good source of fiber, a boat load of micronutrients including folate and iron, and low in calories. As this nutritionist likes to say, eat from the vegetable rainbow, get a little orange veg every day.

How do you pick a flavorful pumpkin? Grow your own, visit the farmers market or select from the grocery store offerings in the fall. Typically, carving pumpkins are tough and less flavorful because they are grown with decoration in mind. Instead, pick up a sugar pie pumpkin, butternut squash or any number of winter squash friends. Flavor and texture varies among squash, experiment to find the varieties you like best. If time is limited, but you want to peel off one of these recipes, then use canned pumpkin puree. Extra cooked squash can be frozen for use later. Consider freezing in ice-cube trays or ½ cup quantities to make it more user-friendly.

I try to keep tabs on 50+ food blogs each week for your taste bud pleasure. Listed below are some of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes. So, go ahead and squash some pumpkin (pun intended) or open a can of puree, add it to everything from bread to soup. Please click the title to link to the recipe.

 

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal… To Go

This is ingenious, I tell you. I initially got this idea from The Faux Martha via Pinterest, where I saw baked oatmeal in a muffin-type, portable form. Perfect for an on-the-go breakfast , which, if you are like me, is usually the case.

 

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

I mix in a little extra milk when I reheat the leftovers and they taste great. This comes together quickly and easily and the hardest part is waiting for it to finish baking.

 

Savory Pumpkin Soup

Once, a long time ago, on the Caribbean Island of St. John, on the far side of the island in a little shack of a restaurant surrounded by goats and lapping waves, we had pumpkin soup that tasted like heaven.

 

Pumpkin Gratin

This recipe is AMAZING! So light and flavorful, leave it to the French!

pumpkin gratin

 

Paleo Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins

These mini carrot cakes are dangerously addictive. With a tender crumb, just the right amount of sweetness, and a pleasantly unexpected hit of exotic spice… 

paleo pumpkin muffins
Sherrill Smith Collins, MS, RD, LD

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