I have wanted to try pumpkin again for awhile, but I've been a little tentative. Both Brett and I hate pie - pumpkin pie especially. I do not like anything about pie crust - I just don't, and thankfully, Brett doesn't either. Pumpkin pie filling also isn't really my cup of tea - it is something about the texture of the filling. Anyways, with my love of all other winter squash, and the fact that I now love many things that I hated in my pre-vegetarian days, I wanted to give it another shot.
I can now say that, at least in certain applications, both my and Brett's feelings about pumpkin has changed. We really like it! I don't think I will ever like pie, but pumpkin and I could become quite good friends. I went out in search of recipes for pumpkin, and then crossed my fingers that I would be able to find an edible pumpkin at the farmer's market. A little interesting aside about that - there were, oh, 4 stands that were selling pumpkin at the market last weekend, and only one of them sold pumpkins that were actually edible. I understand that Jack-o-lantern's are popular around this time of year, but Brett and I noted that with the sheer amount of non-edible pumpkins grown in our area alone, there has to be a lot of waste.
I found this recipe on the Joy of Baking website. I veganized it and also made it whole grain. These muffins are not overly sweet and they go fantastically with a cup of tea. I took these into work and they were eaten up in no time. I forgot to tell people they were vegan - but that usually turns people off to trying things for some reason. But at least you guys and I will know. :-)
This recipe wasn't the only pumpkin recipe we tried out this weekend either. We also made pumpkin bread! I followed this recipe - simply substituting whole grain spelt flour for the all-purpose and using safflower oil instead of olive. I have to say, we LOVE pumpkin bread, we devoured that loaf of bread!
Does anyone have any ideas (beyond pumpkin soup) as to how to use pumpkin in main dishes?
The local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms
How to make pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin:
Heat oven to 350.
Split pumpkin in half and remove seeds and stringy parts.
Place cut halve side facing down in a baking dish. Add 2 cups of water.
Bake pumpkin for about 60-90 minutes or until really soft.
Let the pumpkin cool.
Scoop out flesh and transfer to a food processor.
Blend until smooth.
Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes about 12.
Adapted from a Joy of Baking recipe found here.
1 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour
1/2 cup organic raw sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain hempmilk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree *
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
1 Ener-G, flax, or other egg substitute
1 cup organic, fair-trade chocolate chip (we used 65% cacao)
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Slowly add in the wet ingredients, blending well.
Fill a greased (I sprayed mine with safflower oil in a mister) muffin pan 2/3 of the way full with batter.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes clean after inserting it into the middle of the muffin.
Yummy! I wish these weren't gone. Thankfully though, I still have 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree in our freezer. We are also hoping to pick up another "pie pumpkin" this weekend.
'Til next time!