Spice Up Your Food With Pumpkin

One of the best things about fall is pumpkins are in season! Besides being a popular item for decor, pumpkin is also a delicious food. This nutritious vegetable is full of vitamin A, which is good for your skin and your respiratory system. Here are five easy ways to add pumpkin to some of your favorite foods. 

1. Pumpkin Recipes: Soup

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

If you’re looking to add a seasonal spin to this healthy meal, reach for pumpkin! Adding pumpkin puree to any black bean soup recipe can make it healthier and more delicious.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil

1 chopped onion

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups broth

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 can black beans drained

1 can chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup dry Sherry

1 handful chopped cilantro

Directions:

Begin by heating the oil in a large pan on stovetop. Next, add onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Now, add the salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic and saute for another minute. Then, add the black beans, broth, sherry, and pumpkin, and cook for 30 minutes. Once finished, garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy! 

2. Pumpkin Recipes: Candy

Mexican Pumpkin Candy

Mexican pumpkin candy is a popular treat in Mexico that both the locals and tourists can’t get enough off! The good news is you can also make this delicious candy in the comfort of your own home. 

Ingredients:

One large pumpkin sliced

Enough water to cover the pumpkin

1 cups lime juice

About 5 cups sugar

Directions:

To make Mexican pumpkin candy begin by soaking the pumpkin slices overnight in lime water. Next, remove the pumpkin from the water and rinse. Then, boil the pumpkins in water for 5 minutes, drain, and rinse the pumpkin slices again in water. Next, grab a fork and pierce each piece a few times, so it can absorb the sugar. Using, an equal amount of sugar to pumpkin, moisten the pieces with water, cover with sugar, and bake until crystalized (usually 3 hours). When crystalized, drain and place the candy on wax paper, and roll in brown sugar if desired.

3. Pumpkin Recipes: Flan

Pumpkin Flan

Flan is a traditional Latin dessert that is adored by many. To put a fall spin on this amazing treat all you need is a little pumpkin!

Ingredients:

6 large eggs

6 large egg yolks

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 1/3 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

5 whole cloves

3 whole star anise

1 cracked cardamom pod

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée

Directions:

Combine eggs, egg yolks, orange zest, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together. Then, in a large pan heat together the heavy cream, milk, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cardamom pod. Next, whisk the eggs into the mixture, steep for 30 minutes, and strain. Then, whisk in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and chill for 3 hours until it becomes a custard. Pour the custard into ramekins, place some caramel on top, and bake at 350° for 20–25 minutes. Chill until cold, and enjoy!  

4. Pumpkin Recipes: Brittle

Pepita Brittle

Another great thing about pumpkins are the seeds. Pepitas (Spanish for pumpkin seeds) are a healthy delicious snack, that is popular is Latin cuisine. One great way to use pepitas is for brittle.

Ingredients:

1 cup hulled toasted pepitas

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup honey

1 cup hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted

Directions:

Begin by melting butter in a saucepan at medium heat. Next, stir in the honey and brown sugar and bring to a boil till the sugar dissolves.  Without stirring, cook for 6 minutes or until the mixture is medium amber. Next, stir in pepitas and cook for another two minutes. Pour the mixture into a baking sheet and let cool before breaking into pieces. 

5. Pumpkin Recipes: Churros

Pumpkin Churros

There is nothing better than on hot churro on a cool day. To make this amazing dessert even better, add some delicious pumpkin!

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup canned pumpkin purée

½ cup butter

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions:

Begin by mixing the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and spread over a baking sheet. Mix pumpkin puree, brown sugar, salt, and butter in a pan and bring to a boil. Once cooked, add the flour and stir together, and pour into a large bowl. Using a mixer, add eggs until smooth. Then in a large dutch oven, fry strips of the mix until golden brown. Roll the churros in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!