Where should I begin. My love for pumpkin is very real, deep and will probably last a lifetime. It is actually not a relationship that have lasted very long. I think it was probably 6 years ago I found myself hugging a hokkaido and ended up making an adorable pumpkin pie, and thereafter I started experimenting quite a bit with the hokkaido.
Some of my friends and people I meet, especially here in Denmark, don’t really know what to do with a pumpkin and some of them have never even tasted it!! So I thought it would be a great idea to pull together all of the pumpkin recipes from this blog + come up with new exciting ideas to use the pumpkin, including an actual new, very easy recipe for pumpkin spaghetti.
Why is pumpkin so amazing? First of all it looks so stunning – like an Autumn Forest Queen. It is packed with nutrients especially beta-Carotene (eventually A-vitamin within the body), potassium and vitamin C. And it is very low in calories, like 26 kcal pr 100 g, which means you can basically eat as much of it as you want! It has an amazing sweet taste and is easy to cook up and use in all sort of ways, from dessert to dinner meals. And many people don’t actually know that you can eat the peel, at least on both hokkaido and butternut squash, which makes it easier to prepare and lets us keep even more of those amazing nutrients.
So come along and get pumpkin-inspired….
Pumpkin is rather perfect for breakfast. The sweet taste of it pairs great with many breakfast meals as pancakes, scones, muffins and porridge. There are many ways to add pumpkin to these meals and the most used is either grated or as a pure. Pumpkin pure is made from either baking or boiling the pumpkin until tender and afterwards blend it until you have a pure. Store in fridge for up to 5 days.
If you want to make pumpkin porridge it is as easy as adding 50-100 g grated or pureed pumpkin to you porridge while making it. And as an extra delicious twist add a little of the warm spices as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom or ginger, which pair wonderful with pumpkin and is the flavour we know from e.g. pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin-Breakfast recipes from this blog include Pumpkin Scones and Pumpkin Pancakes and if you feel like making a Pumpkin Granola, you could go with This Granola recipe – and simply replace the three bananas in the cream with 200 g pureed pumpkin and 3 tbsp maple syrup. You can also whip up this savoury Mexican Brunch Skillet and simply replace the sweet potato with pumpkin
As soon as we enter autumn I begin to include pumpkin in almost every second savoury meal that I eat. I love the versatility of pumpkin and I guess I love the sweetness and comfort it provides too. My go-to preparation is certainly Baked Pumpkin Fries which takes literally 2 min to prepare and 20 min to cook. I also use these baked pumpkin fries, or smaller pieces of baked pumpkin, in whole and rich salads. My Pumpkin and Feta Salad and Mixed Super Salad are definitely those I love and make the most and they are great for the lunchbox too due to the rich and not-watery ingredients.
If you are looking for a lovely pumpkin comfort meal I can really recommend this Stuffed Hokkaido with a golden cheese layer or a warm and comfy Pumpkin Soup. You can actually also incorporate it into all kinds of stews and I have often made this Sweet Potato Bowl replacing the sweet potatoes with hokkaido. A new favourite of mine is pumpkin spaghetti. Where you use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make long spaghetti strips – and this recipe is included in the bottom of this post.
Just as with the breakfast recipes pumpkin goes very well in desserts too. You might have seen the Sweet Potato Brownie I posted last week – guess what? You can replace the sweet potato with pumpkin and have the same result. And you can actually incorporate pumpkin into many baked goods. As a rule of thumb you can replace grated carrot in carrot cakes and muffin with pumpkin, so you could try giving these Muffins a go – but you can also easily substitute regular squash/zucchini with pumpkin and make this Spicy Loaf.
I have also experimented with pumpkin in ice cream which is wonderful and this Coconut & Pumpkin Ice Cream is both healthier than regular ice cream and it is very tasty with the classic flavour of pumpkin pie.
And speaking of this classic ‘Pumpkin Pie’ I have created a slight different and heathier version of Pumpkin Pie. And to round of this post and celebrate pumpkin a little more, I will share this recipe with you next week!
Butter Roasted Pumpkin Spaghetti (adapted from talented Jane)
1 hokkaido or butternut squash
2 tbsp organic butter
A handful of finely chopped herbs – (sage & rosemary are perfect)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Wash your pumpkin. Use a mandolin or julienne peeler to make spaghetti out of the pumpkin. Alternatively you can coarsely grate it.
Heat a skillet, add the butter and garlic and sauté for 1 min. Add the pumpkin and herbs and sauté for 3-5 min, depending on how tender you want it. I prefer it al dente – and it might end up a little mashed it you give it too long. But you can vary as you please. Serve the spaghetti with a lovely piece of meat or simply as a side dish to whatever you prefer.