Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Cooking With Pumpkin: Anything But Pie!

Over the next month leading up to Thanksgiving, Earth Eats (and I) will be bringing you six pumpkin-focused recipes that have nothing to do with pie.

pumpkin with stem

Photo: valkyrieh116 (flickr)

I try to choose fresh, seasonal ingredients over pre-prepared foods, so I've been exploring ways to prepare pumpkin on my own — the possibilities are endless for this flavorful squash.

Nothing says Halloween better than a jack-o-lantern, and nothing says Thanksgiving better than pie. The season has come for your favorite large, round, orange, princess-wielding squash — the pumpkin.

When I was growing up, my mom would make her pie crust from scratch, but she always bought canned pumpkin for the filling. It was easier — and came with a recipe right on the can.

Now, as I try to choose fresh, seasonal ingredients over pre-prepared foods, I’ve been exploring ways to prepare pumpkin on my own. And it’s a thrill — the possibilities are endless for this flavorful squash. I think someone could write a food blog focused entirely on recipes centered around this ingredient, and never gets boring.

Now that you’re ready to cook with pumpkin, it’s important to know that the pumpkins for cooking are not the same ones you use for jack-o-lanterns. When you go to the store, look for “pie pumpkins” or “sugar pumpkins.” Then, join us for making anything but pie!

Over the next month leading up to Thanksgiving, Earth Eats (and I) will be bringing you six pumpkin-focused recipes that have nothing to do with pie.

pumpkin

Photo: thedabble (flickr)

When you go to the store, look for "pie pumpkins" or "sugar pumpkins."

  1. Sugary Spiced Pumpkin Seeds. Don’t throw away those pesky buggers! When you’re scooping out your pumpkin’s innards, be sure to save the seeds. Once you’re done, you can make a big batch to snack on throughout the autumn months.
  2. Pumpkin Zucchini Bread. A quick bread that’s simple to make and makes a moist result. It’s no healthier than pumpkin pie, but when it’s warm and fresh out of the oven you won’t regret you made it.
  3. Roasted Caramelized Pumpkin and Green Bean Stir Fry. This recipe is great because you can change it up and make it your own.
  4. Creamy pumpkin soup. I don’t know about you, but when the weather gets cold I look to soups to warm me up! I also just got a food processor of my very own, so I’m a bit gung-ho about making recipes that were previously unavailable to me.
  5. Frozen Custard with Pumpkin and Ginger. After all that soup and stew, you’re going to need something to cleanse the palate. This is basically pumpkin pie in a bowl. *Note: you’ll need an ice cream maker for this one. It’s a bit of a splurge to get one, but once you get it you’ll always have an excuse to eat ice cream!
  6. Surprise! Send us your recipes and you might see it listed here on our website!

So put down that can of processed pumpkin and pick up a little orange squash of your own. Carve it up, cook it, and get ready to make some snacks, soups, breads, and desserts to celebrate this autumn season.

While you wait to read these pumpkin recipes, try making our Bison, Pumpkin and Lentil Chili.

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Sarah Kaiser

Sarah Kaiser is a student-turned-townie living in Bloomington, Indiana. A social media specialist at Solution Tree, she spends her days tweeting and her nights foraging at the local summer market for new tastes and flavors. And occasionally rocking out on the ukulele.

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