There are two types of people in this world: those who LOVE anything pumpkin spiced and those who don’t.
I fall in the latter category. Sure, I like a good pumpkin muffin or pumpkin bread, but that’s about where it stops. I don’t like pumpkin spiced lattes, I don’t like pumpkin spiced cereal, toaster pastries, graham crackers or marshmallows. I also don’t like pumpkin pie. However, I do love cooking with pumpkin.
Pretty soon when the weather FINALLY cools off, we will head on over to our neighborhood pumpkin patch and buy a few pumpkins. Rather than just let those pumpkins sit on my front porch, I also like grab a few smaller pumpkins for making some of my favorite pumpkin recipes.
First of all, did you know that pumpkin is incredibly nutritious? It is high in dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, B6, and E, and also high in potassium, iron and folate. Not bad for something that also looks really nice on the front porch or on the fireplace for holiday décor! It’s also incredibly easy to “hide” in recipes so that your kids will eat it. These recipes are also interchangeable with other fall squashes like butternut, delicata, acorn or kabocha squash!
So, for all of you fellow friends who rather enjoy pumpkin “unspiced,” here are four recipes that you can include in your recipe box that use my favorite fall vegetable in a different way.
Pumpkin Mac N’ Cheese – (slightly adapted from Healthy Food for Living)
- 8 oz uncooked macaroni or other pasta, preferably whole wheat or whole wheat blend pasta
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
- 2 oz (about 4 Tbsp) 1/3-less-fat Neufchatel cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Colby jack Cheese
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp Creole Seasoning, we like Slap ya Mama, it all depends on your tastes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Makes 25 brownies
- 1 “Family Size” box (19.5 oz) brownie mix (I Like Duncan Hines)
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
Easy Pumpkin Soup (from RecipeTin Eats)
- 2lb pumpkin (any), chopped into large chunks (remove skin and seeds)
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup milk (see notes for vegan subs)
- Salt and pepper
Of course, after you cut up your pumpkin and make your soup, don’t throw out the seeds! Be sure to roast them with this recipe!
Pumpkin seeds, olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices of your choice