Pumpkins are a fun and festive decoration this time of year – beautiful vessels that symbolize the fall harvest. About 1.5 billion pounds are bought each year, but way too many of those wind up in the trash the week after Halloween. Before throw yours away, consider these Jack-tastic recipes that will turn your Jack-O-Lantern into something delish.
Start by toasting the seeds. Take a metal spoon or melon scraper and remove the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin. Using a strainer, rinse under water and remove seeds from pulp. Pat seeds dry, then toss in butter or olive oil. Spread on a cookie sheet or roasting pan, sprinkle with salt, and place in a 400-degree preheated oven. Toast until golden brown, between 5 and 20 minutes depending upon their size.
Make salty and sweet pumpkin seeds by tossing them with butter, two tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
Make spicy pumpkin seeds by tossing them with olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
Or make savory pumpkin seeds by tossing them with olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
Next create your own pumpkin puree by cutting the pumpkin in half, covering the top with foil, and roasting in a 325-degree oven for an hour or until tender. Scrape the meat from the shell and puree in a blender or food processor. You can use your homemade pumpkin puree to make your own Thanksgiving pie or in one of these two great recipes:
Nana’s Pumpkin Cobbler
- 3 eggs
- 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree
- 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Yellow cake mix
- 1 ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup nuts
Mix first eight ingredients and pour into an ungreased 8 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix on top and drizzle with butter. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Top with nuts.
Pumpkin Pie Martini from MixThatDrink.com
- 2 ounces vanilla vodka
- 2 ounces white creme de cacao
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1.5 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
- 1 dash of ground nutmeg (for garnish)
- Powdered graham cracker (for the rim)
Rim two martini glasses with crushed graham cracker. Fill a shaker with ice and add the vodka, creme de cacao, cream and pumpkin puree. Shake well until it’s chilled. Strain into the martini glasses. Sprinkle the ground nutmeg on top for garnish.