Food & Nutrition Column
Mary Ann Lienhart Cross, County Extension Director
Extension Educator – Health and Human Sciences
Purdue Extension Elkhart County
For release Monday, October 28, 2013
All Year is Pumpkin Time!
We all have our favorite foods and one of mine is pumpkin. With the convenience of canned pumpkin I enjoy it all year long. Pumpkin’s light, natural taste makes it the perfect blend for a wide variety of other foods. Golden in color, pumpkin adds moistness, rich flavor, and smooth texture to an impressive assortment of both sweet and savory dishes.
You add some food value to breakfast with pumpkin pancakes, waffles, pumpkin swirl rolls, spiced pumpkin monkey bread, pumpkin coffee cake, apple pumpkin fritters, or pumpkin muffins or quick breads. For a pleasantly sweet and spicy spread for toast or muffins, try pumpkin butter. Just remember to refrigerate the pumpkin butter as you cannot process it.
Pumpkin also adds a unique flavor to soups; you might try a chilled one with rice in it. Party appetizers such as a pumpkin cheese ball, or a creamy fruit dip made with pumpkin, yogurt and orange marmalade is a real treat. Other pumpkin possibilities for parties include a sandwich with a mixture of sweetened pumpkin with cream cheese - this is also good on bagels or toast too.
To make a ho-hum entrée something special, add pumpkin. Try different dishes such as a pumpkin pasta with pecan cream sauce, Szechwan-style pumpkin-sauced chicken, pumpkin crepes, pumpkin chili, pumpkin soufflé, and pumpkin quiche.
For a change in holiday meals try a pumpkin stuffing to accompany this year’s holiday turkey or serve potatoes and pumpkin au gratin side dish with poultry or ham. No matter what time of year, barbecued food is wonderful; next time you make your own sauce add pumpkin to it. You can blend pumpkin with brown sugar, mustard, onion, garlic, and spices to make a rich barbecue sauce. This goes great with pork, beef and chicken.
Last but not least, a vast assortment of desserts can be made with pumpkin. Frozen pumpkin dessert squares, pumpkin torte, pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin cookies, and different kinds of pies, puddings, candy and caramel sauce to serve over all kinds of fruits. Pumpkin is for more than just pie! ###
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