Top 5 Ways to Use Pumpkins + Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin, the harbinger of fall, is a beloved part of every October. You can find pumpkin in everything these days from pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice muffins, to pumpkin hummus, pasta, coffee and tea. You can even wash your face with pumpkin! I personally love when pumpkins make their presence each season, because it’s about Read More...
Pumpkin, the harbinger of fall, is a beloved part of every October. You can find pumpkin in everything these days from pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice muffins, to pumpkin hummus, pasta, coffee and tea. You can even wash your face with pumpkin! I personally love when pumpkins make their presence each season, because it’s about time people realized that pumpkin is so much more than a pie filling. Cultures around the globe have cherished pumpkin as a main ingredient in savory dishes, from Latin American soups and stews to Thai pumpkin dumplings and stir-fries. In fact, pumpkins are part of the Three Sisters pre-Columbian agricultural tradition in the Americas—maize was planted in a mound to act as a pole for beans to climb, with squash or pumpkin plant at the base for shade.
Pumpkins are in the same family as winter squash, and they are packed with nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamins A and C, fiber, copper, potassium, slow-digesting carbs, and more. I grew pumpkins in my garden this summer—the result of composting pumpkins last fall and the seeds catching hold in my garden to produce mystery vines. And now I have their cheerful shapes and curling vines gracing my mantel and doorstep as I welcome fall into my home. I love cooking with these gems, too. Check out my five favorite ways to use pumpkin in the kitchen below.
Top 5 Ways to Use Pumpkin
1. Bake with Pumpkin
Turn your kitchen into nirvana with the aroma of pumpkin spice baking in your oven in breads, pies, cookies, bars, and muffins. While you’re at it, check out my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins in my book Plant-Powered for Life.
2. Stir in Mashed Pumpkin
Cook up pumpkin and mash it (or simply open up a can of pumpkin) to stir into so many wonderful recipes, such as soups, pies, pasta dishes (check out my Vegan Carbonara with Pumpkin) macaroni and “cheese” (let pumpkin stand in for cheese!), and even a pumpkin latte. Skip those fake lattes with pumpkin additives and use the real thing. Check out my Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte in my new video and learn how to make a healthier version of this classic fall staple.
3. Blend Pumpkin Up!
Throw cooked pumpkin into a blender to make pumpkin puree for a variety of recipes, such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin oats, pumpkin energy balls, and pumpkin bread. Learn how to make home-made pumpkin puree in my step-by-step guide here. You can also toss cooked pumpkin into your next smoothie, such as Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie.
4. Save the Seeds
Don’t throw out those pumpkin seeds! Roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and seasonings and enjoy them as a nutrient-rich snack. Sprinkle them over salads, such as my Salad with Cantaloupe, Radishes, and Pumpkin Seeds, into baked goods, and on your veggies.
5. Use Pumpkin as a Vegetable
Don’t forget that pumpkin is a vegetable, not just an ingredient. You can roast it just like you would winter squash, cube it in soups and stews, and sauté it in a savory stir-fry.
For other tips on how to use plant foods, check out the following: