Sustainable Living

Eat Local in Every Season: Pumpkin

Though summer and it’s abundance of produce is at an end I’ve decided, between my garden and our local producers, to attempt to continue using local vegetables as a mainstay of our diet throughout the fall and winter.  This is new to me and so I’m documenting the foods and recipes I try in hopes that you’ll join me in attempting to eat local and seasonal produce year-round!

Selecting a Pumpkin

I had actually wanted to write this post a couple of weeks ago but my pumpkin had gone bad. It turned in a much shorter time period than I thought possible, so going forward all my pumpkins and other squash will be stored in a cool, dry place!

Also news to me: there are preferred varieties of pumpkin to cook with. I’m using a sugar pie pumpkin for the recipes listed below. I tried to cook down an extra Halloween pumpkin one year (not carved as they are no longer safe to eat once carved and left out, just an extra one!) and found it tasteless so am hoping that this variety is better.

Where to Start?

It’s a bit daunting to look at a fairly large squash and contemplate what to do to create something edible, at least it is for me! A friend had mentioned that she cooked a small sugar pie pumpkin in her slow cooker and I found instructions for that here.

I didn’t have time to leave my pumpkin in the slow cooker for the day so I went with an oven method like this one and my pumpkin turned out great!

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I regularly make steel cut oats overnight in my slow cooker and so tried this recipe for a pumpkin version and it was so good!

Pumpkin Soup

I also make at least one batch of soup each week with whatever is in my fridge or freezer. This week is pumpkin, of course! I went through a few recipes to get an idea of what kind of seasoning works with pumpkin and ended up just throwing some ingredients into the pot as I didn’t have a lot of time to chop or measure. Here’s my lazy soup recipe that (mostly?) works out every time:

1. Saute onions and garlic in oil
2. Add about 2 cups of veggies (in this case mashed pumpkin)
3. Cover in water and add stock cube (I use vegetable stock)
4. Add some seasonings (depending on the soup I’ll add parsley, bay leaves, thyme or rosemary from the garden)
5. Blend with a hand blender and correct seasoning

For this soup I added coconut milk, garam masala, cinnamon, salt, cayenne pepper and some maple syrup until I was happy with the flavour. I think it turned out really well, and would be delicious with side salad or fresh whole grain bread!

Pumpkin Muffins

A couple of months back Alison and I shared our favourite ways to use overripe bananas here. I included my favourite recipe for banana muffins, however the original recipe is actually a pumpkin-based recipe, so have a look at our post and try it out!

Other Pumpkin Recipes I Plan to Try

What’s your favourite way to cook with pumpkin?

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