October means cooler weather, and thoughts of keeping warm, as we all settle in to the reality that winter is coming. But it also means Halloween 2016 and pumpkins— lots of pumpkins to carve and adorn stairways with, for those young goblins who come trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
Pumpkin recipes are also a great way to bring in the fall, and you can even repurpose your Halloween jack-o-lantern into a yummy treat or creamy soup (if it hasn’t been sitting around for too long; otherwise just go buy new ones for your recipes, and Halloween food ideas).
If you’ve got some time, and a sense of humor, create one of the trendiest pumpkins out there to showcase on Halloween: the Trumpkin. These pumpkins are carved to look like Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, and can even be adorned with a wig for the full effect.
People have displayed their artistic attempts with this craze on social media, and some of them are incredibly great renditions of what Trump actually looks.
Pumpkin is part of the squash family, and is good for you because of its vitamins and nutrients. They are especially high in potassium, which is excellent for the heart and contributes to lower blood pressure. Pumpkins are low in fat and a terrific source of beta carotene, which gives it is wonderful orange color.
For Halloween parties, a fun idea is to theme the party around foods made with pumpkins, as well as foods that are ghoulish and scary. Making dishes from fresh pumpkin is easy because the pumpkin gets cooked much like squash, and can then be easily pureed.
If making pie with fresh pumpkin, the end result can be a little stringy, but with patience and proper technique, a smooth filling is easily possible. Below are a few ways to use pumpkin in recipes and the outcome of each is delicious.
1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 2 eggs, 6 tbsp. melted butter, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tbsp. vanilla extract.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then add in 1 1/4 cups butterscotch chips. Mix this together until well-coated with the flour mixture. Coating the chips with flour will prevent them from falling to the bottom of the batter when cooking.
Add the pumpkin, eggs, butter, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Place muffin tin liners in a muffin tin. Scoop the batter into the liners using an ice cream scoop. Place the remaining butterscotch chips on top of each muffin. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Coconut Pumpkin Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 small onion, chopped, 1 clove garlic, minced, 2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated, 2 tsp. curry powder, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cloves, Salt, Black pepper, 3 cups pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed, 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, 1 14-oz. can coconut milk, Toasted pumpkin seeds, Cilantro.
Directions: Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring for about one minute. Add the curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pumpkin puree and brown sugar. Whisk in stock of choice and bring to a boil.
Immediately reduce the heat and simmer until a little thick, which will take about 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk. Cooking on low heat until warmed. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro if desired. A dollop of yogurt would be a nice addition as well.
Watson A., “Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup,” Delish web site, October 9, 2015; http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a44147/coconut-curry-pumpkin-soup-recipe/, last accessed October 18, 2016.