Tomorrow is Halloween so I figured I should highlight the mighty pumpkin. I, of course, carved pumpkins this year and while foraging the fields at Butler Orchards in Damascus, MD Jim and I decided to grab a couple small one for pumpkin pie. Now, I have never made a pumpkin pie with a real pumpkin so I have been debating as to how to do so. I have looked up many recipes but have not gained the courage needed to make the actual pie. So this blog goes pieless, but I will be highlighting some other recipes so bare with me.
After pumpkin pie, cookies, fudge, and any other sweet pumpkin treats, my next favorite pumpkin dish is that of roasted pumpkin seeds. Having carved rather large pumpkins this year I had an excess of seeds. If you just throw your seeds away, shame on you, because pumpkin seeds are rich in amino acids as well as zinc which we all know can help in the fight against the onslaught of autumn’s cold and flu season.
Save those seeds. Clean them up (by picking all the pumpkin off and washing them in cold water) and allow them to dry over night on cookie sheets all spread out. The next day, I preheated the oven to 250 and chose to spray them down with a butter substitute spray (fewer calories and more control of the liquid) and then topped each of my three cookie sheets with a different topping. Now you could douse them in plain old salt, but why do that? I opted to do one sheet with onion powder and garlic salt. Go heavy on the spices here because you want these little guys to be packed full of flavor and salt is the way to go. Load them up.
The second tray was Jim’s and he sprayed his with butter spray (to make them moist) and then opted for salt and cayenne pepper. A bit spicy for me but they had a really nice hot punch at the end. If you want something hot but not cayenne hot you could opt for jalapeno salt or cocoa with a little chili pepper.
The third batch was a flavor we had tried last year with little success. This year, I believe we have the recipe down. I love chai tea so I tried a little chai spice on my pumpkin seeds. Last year they lacked a certain sweetness so I loaded on the sugar. In addition to that I also added ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a little ground pepper.
After about an hour in the oven, pull them out, and low and behold roasted flavored pumpkin seeds. And excellent treat that can be adjusted to taste. Also, if you pull out a batch that isn’t salty or sweet enough just stir them around, top them again, and bake for another 10 minutes. They are really easy to make so try them out some time.
Below are a few more recipes from TastyPlanner that go pumpkin crazy! Enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal – Sweet yet pumpkin-y. It’s like pumpkin pie for breakfast that is actually good for you!
Pumpkin Ravioli with Hazelnut Cream Sauce – Made with an aromatic pumpkin filling, and served with a simple cream sauce. You can make this ravioli with winter squash also.
Orange Frosted Pumpkin Muffins- These spicy pumpkin muffins topped with a subtle orange icing are the perfect substantial snacks to get you in the mood for (or remind you of) the cool crisp air of fall.
Pumpkin Curry – A warm and spicy dish blending Indian cooking with fall squash. Excellent with roti and a fresh salad.
Pumpkin Soup – A tasty soup perfect for cold autumn nights. Serve with biscuits and apple or pumpkin butter for a sweet and savory meal.