It’s the month of the pumpkin! It seems to be a polarizing member of the produce family. Some folks love it, other folks hate it. It seems as though the people who do not like it have really only eaten pumpkin in its most popular form–pureed into a pie filling. Of course, there are plenty of ways to eat pumpkin, so this past weekend’s demo was a three-recipe display of various ways to eat the big orange guy. If you missed the class, check below for the recipes.
We started with a batch of pumpkin muffins that include spelt flour, a variety of warm spices, raw cane sugar, coconut oil and apple sauce, in addition to 100% pure pumpkin. Spelt flour is very similar to whole wheat flour. It has a nutty flavor with more protein and slightly less calories. It has a higher gluten level, so be sure not to overmix the batter. Applesauce is a great swap for oil in many baking recipes. You can swap anywhere from 50% to 100% of all oil with applesauce. Best of all, the pumpkin puree in this recipe was made from a huge pumpkin taken from the Queens Park garden. It was great to make use of the garden’s goods for class.
Next up, we featured roasted slices of pumpkin over a mix of greens. The partner toppings included sweet dried Black Mission figs, which are packed with potassium and fiber, and crunchy pepitas that are a great source of protein, potassium and zinc. Pepitas are simply roasted pumpkin seeds, and they are packed with vitamins. Finally, we stirred pureed pumpkin into a mild creamy, cheesy sauce. That sauce was poured over penne pasta and cooked cremini mushrooms and peas. We lightened up the cream sauce by using milk and broth instead of heavy cream. The key to balancing a meal with higher calories is to include as many other vegetables as possible. This pasta dish featured three!
Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Oat Muffins – Serves 12
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
1/2 cup turbinado sugar, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin cups. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, ginger, 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, coconut oil, applesauce and pumpkin puree. Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until nearly incorporated.
3. Drop the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high until soft peaks form, approximately 2-3 minutes. (The egg whites should be thick, smooth and fluffy.) Use a spatula to carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
4. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 with batter, then use the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar and rolled oats to sprinkle on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for approximately 18 – 20 minutes.
Roasted Pumpkin, Apple and Dried Fig Salad – Serves 8
1 – 3 pound sugar pumpkin, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2” wedges
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
5 ounces mixed greens
1 medium Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced*
1/2 cup dried figs, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pepitas, toasted
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1. Lay the pumpkin wedges on a foil-covered baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the first 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle over the pumpkin and toss to mix. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and mustard. Stir in the parsley. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.
3. Spread the arugula over a large serving platter. Top with the roasted pumpkin, apple slices, figs, pepitas and blue cheese. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and serve immediately.
*We also added sliced persimmons to our salad in class.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms and Peas – Serves 8 to 10
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large shallots, diced
3 sprigs thyme, whole
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups grated swiss cheese
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained
1 pound penne pasta, cooked
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped
1. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallots and thyme sprigs, and cook until translucent and soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
2. Whisk the flour and mustard powder into the pot, cooking for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly stream in the milk and vegetable broth, whisking all the time. Allow the liquid to simmer, but not boil, and thicken slightly for approximately 10 minutes. Whisk in the cheese, followed by the pumpkin puree. Season with the salt and pepper, then remove from heat.
3. In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high flame. Add the mushrooms and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add the peas, toss and cook until just warmed through, approximately 1-2 minutes.
4. Carefully fold the cooked mushroom, peas and pasta into the sauce, making sure to coat everything. Season to taste, if necessary. Pour the pasta into a large serving bowl, then top with scallions and chives. Serve immediately.