#nofoodwaste – That is my mantra. So, when I have a pumpkin, I’m finding a way to use it! You might like to try one or all of these pumpkin recipes – Pumpkin Pizza, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pumpkin Dog Cookies.
Considerations for Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin must be roasted low and slow in order to get their enzymes to break down the starch into sugar. Pumpkins can be bland, watery and sugary, so you have to roast and caramelize them to create flavor. It does take some time to make the pulp, but once you do, it can be used in a multitude of different ways – pizza, cookies, muffins, pies, etc, etc.
To make the base pulp, carve your pumpkin into quarters or eighths if it is big. Remove the stringy inside containing the pumpkin seeds. Reserve the pumpkin seeds for roasting. Lightly drizzle olive oil and use your hands to evenly spread the oil, then salt and pepper. Roast in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour. At this point, your pumpkin should be soft and the flesh easily removed. However, if it is still hard when inserting a knife, keep roasting it until it is totally soft. Scoop out the flesh and place it in a bowl. Add some olive oil and a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg as you desire. Use a fork to mash it or place it in a food processor for a quick whirl.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Seeds from one pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Salt and pepper
- Step 1 Spread pumpkin seeds on sheet pan and let them dry for about 1-2 hours.
- Step 2 Spread melted butter on top and toss with salt and pepper.
- Step 3 Roast in 325 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Step 4 Remove and toss. At this time, you can add other seasonings that you desire. I use smoked paprika. Return to oven for another 10 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Step 5 Cool and eat!
Pumpkin Pizza Recipe
In this recipe, the pumpkin flesh will replace tomato sauce as the pizza base. After multiple test kitchen attempts with a variety of toppings, I found that wine-braised sausage was the best savory compliment to the pumpkin base and Calabrian chiles added the spice that was needed.
- 1 recipe pizza dough (approximately 14 ounces creates one large or two small pizzas)
- 1 ball of mozzarella
- 1/2 cup of gruyere cheese, shredded (optional)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup of Calabrian chiles, diced
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 hot Italian sausages
- 15 sage leaves, fried in olive oil
- Step 1 Remove sausage from casing and saute until cooked through on medium heat. (Note: if the sausage exudes a lot of fat, drain it in a colander at this point and return to saute pan.) Turn up heat to high and add white wine. Let wine bubble away and turn off sausage.
- Step 2 Lightly oil sage leaves and fry them in a dry saute pan until crisp. Set aside.
- Step 3 Saute red onion in 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil on high heat. You want to scorch the onions so that they have blackened parts. Once at desired scorch level, remove from heat.
- Step 4 To make pizza, roll out dough on floured surface. Place on sheet pan with cornmeal randomly tossed to keep pizza from sticking. Add toppings – first, pumpkin puree and then in order: gruyere (if using), garlic, sausage, onion, sage leaves, mozzarella, and calabrian chiles.
- Step 5 Bake in preheated 500 degree oven for 16 minutes or until nicely browned.
Pumpkin Dog Cookies
- 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour
- Step 1 Mix pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs in bowl.
- Step 2 Slowly add wheat flour in small increments (approximately 1/4 cup at a time) until a dough forms.
- Step 3 Place dough on floured surface (use unbleached all purpose flour) and roll out to 1/2 inch thick with rolling pin.
- Step 4 Use cookie cutter of your choice and place on sheet pan.
- Step 5 Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until hard.
- Step 6 Move treats to wire rack to cool, but be careful of dogs circling and stealing!
Dog Cookie Recipe courtesy of Cascade Kennels