Category Archives: Pumpkin

pumpkin

It’s Pumpkin Season!

pumpkinsWe have a love affair with the pumpkin! No other fruit or vegetable matches how the pumpkin has become a part of our autumn culture. Coffee, creamer, cookies, crackers, even cake mix for dogs. Come autumn almost anything you can eat is pumpkin-flavored. And if you can’t eat it, you can smell spiced pumpkins in candles and cleaning products. It’s been a long-term relationship, dating back to when colonial cooks in the 1600s discovered that this vegetable had dessert possibilities.

There are more than 40 varieties of pumpkins and all are edible; however, some are better for Halloween carving and decorating, others for cooking and baking. Spend some time with the grower at your famers’ market to learn a little about the different kinds of pumpkins for sale. And yes, you can just go to the grocery store and buy canned pumpkin puree to make your pies, muffins or soup, but what’s the fun in that? Using fresh pumpkin isn’t all that difficult.

Look for the small pumpkins to use for cooking — they’re usually marked as “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins.” A two-pound pumpkin will give you about two cups of puree, the amount you’ll need for a 9-inch pie. You can cook the pumpkin by roasting or steaming it. To roast, slice it in half (or leave it whole), put it in a 350-degree oven for 60 to 90-minutes. Scoop out the flesh, then puree it until smooth in a blender. Cooked pumpkin freezes well, so be sure to save any extra. But don’t limit your pumpkin experiences to just pie. Don’t forget pumpkin bread, muffins and cookies. And if you’re really adventurous – try pumpkin ice cream! It’s delicious!

Our thanks to www.blessthismess.com for our Fresh Pumpkin Pie recipe!

Pumpkin Pie From Fresh Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • Homemade Pumpkin Puree from 1 to 2 small sugar pumpkins (see notes), about 4 cups
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14-ounce)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust

Instructions

  1. To prep your pumpkins cooking them in the slow cooker is the easiest and best way to cook them. You can find full pumpkin cooking instructions here. You can do this a few days in advance if you need to.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake your prepared pie crust for 12 minutes.
  3. While the crust is cooking make your filling. Add your pumpkin puree (about 4 cups) to the bowl of your food processor. Process until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredient and process to combine well, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. When the pie crust has cooked for 12 minutes, remove it from the oven. Carefully pour in the filling, return the pie to the oven, and bake for an additional hour. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve at room temperature or cold with fresh whipped cream.

 

Photo Credit: 127071 Via Pixabay

Freezing Fruit

How to Stockpile Your Produce Without the Hassle of Canning

With the outdoor farmers market season coming to an end, everyone is looking for ways to stockpile their fresh produce. To maximize your SNAP EBT benefits and utilize your farmers market produce several months from now, try preserving your produce!

The most traditional way to preserve your produce is by canning. Canning, however, can be very difficult for beginners and can be a long and tedious process. Here are three stress-free alternatives to canning that guarantee your produce’s freshness long after harvest.

  1. Freezing

Freezing is a great alternative to making jam and canning if you want your produce to be accessible in the middle of the winter. You also can do it easily in your own home with a standard freezer. You can freeze fresh fruit, vegetables, and even herbs in olive oil in an ice cube tray. Full recipes here:

How to Freeze Fresh Fruit, How to Freeze Zucchini, How to Freeze Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

  1. Drying

Drying is another canning alternative that can preserve your best fruit. Although drying typically involves a dehydrator, it can easily be done in your own oven. Try drying your own fruit for your trail mix this fall. Full recipe here: How to Dry Fruit Without a Dehydrator

  1. Jamming

Although jamming is still done in a can, it is a much simpler process. Making jams and preserves is a great way to reuse extra fruit and can also double as a great gift. The difference between jams and preserves comes from how they are made. Jams use mashed up fruit whereas preserves use chunks of whole fruit. Full recipe here: How to Make Jams and Preserves

Check out what’s being picked this week*: Pumpkin, Cauliflower, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Onions, Raspberries & Collards

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the Week:

Cozy up this fall with this seasonal soup recipe!