By Sheila Anthony
Here are 3 delicious recipes—a breakfast, a dessert, and an appetizer—for repurposing your post-Halloween pumpkin. So, bid farewell to your faithful jack-o’-lantern the Mari Kondo way, then pull out your sharpest knives.
Note: Save the seeds you scoop out of your pumpkin to create your Jack o’ Lantern in a plastic container in your refrigerator or freezer for later use.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
- A butcher knife or other large knife
- A paring knife
- One pot of filtered water if you’re using the stovetop method
- One baking sheet if you’re using the oven method
- A food processor, large blender, or potato masher
- Immersion blender (optional)
- With the butcher knife or a large knife, carefully slice the pumpkin into large chunks that can be easily handled. With the paring knife, remove the skin from each pumpkin chunk.
- You can either roast or boil the peeled pumpkin chunks. Each method requires you keep an eye on the pumpkin as it cooks. Over-roasting will burn the chunks, and over-boiling will render a soggy result.
- To cook the pumpkin on the stovetop, place the chunks in the pot filled with water. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and cook the pieces at a low boil/roiling simmer until they’re tender and can be pieced easily with a fork. Remove pot from stove and drain pumpkin chunks. Set aside to cool.
- To roast the pumpkin chunks in the oven, preheat oven to 425°F. Line a cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the chunks out on top. Roast the chunks until the largest pieces can be easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate or bowl to cool.
- Take your cooled pumpkin chunks and puree them using a food processor, large blender, or hand-held potato masher. Refine puree’s texture with an immersion blender if you have one.
Note: Pumpkin puree can be frozen and stored for up to 3 months.
Pumpkin Sour Milk Pancakes
Makes 14 to 16 pancakes
The sour milk adds a pleasant tang and extra moistness to these fabulous pumpkin pancakes. Serve up a piping-hot stack on a cold winter’s morning.
- 2 cups of cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-3/4 cups of milk (2 cups if you prefer thinner pancakes)
- ¼ cup white vinegar or lemon juice
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Oil of your choice for greasing pan
- Melt butter and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pour milk into a large mixing bowl, add white vinegar or lemon juice, and stir briefly to mix. Let milk sit for 5 to 10 minutes to “sour.”
- In a separate mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients. Stir by hand to combine.
- In another bowl, beat eggs well.
- Pour egg mixture and melted butter into (now) sour milk. Add pumpkin puree. Mix well.
- Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until completely combined.
- Grease a frying pan or griddle pan with your oil of choice. Depending on the size of pancakes you prefer, use ¼ cup or 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Flip pancake to the other side. Cook until golden brown.
Serve immediately with lots of butter and hot maple syrup!
Pumpkin Bread with Orange-Zest Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 2 loaves
Orange zest adds a citrus zing to the sweet-tangy cream cheese frosting of this delectable pumpkin cake.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Bread
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup neutral vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans and set aside.
- Sift flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
- In another bowl, beat sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add pumpkin puree and mix well.
- Carefully fold dry mixture into wet ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Divide batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
- Bake approximately one hour and ten minutes. Knife or toothpick should come out clean after inserting into center of loaf. Remove from oven. Allow pans to cool on rack for 5 minutes, then turn loaves out onto racks and to cool completely.
Ingredients for Orange-Zest Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 tablespoons of sugar dissolved in a little water
- 1 teaspoon of fresh orange zest
- In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until combined. Add honey, sugar, and orange zest and mix until combined.
- Frost each loaf just before serving.
Note: Unfrosted pumpkin bread can be frozen in advance.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Soy Sauce
Great for holiday-party season, put out a bowl of them and watch how fast they disappear.
Clean Pumpkin Seeds
Hopefully you’ve saved the pumpkin seeds you scraped from your pumpkin to create your Jack o’ Lantern. Place the seeds into a large bowl of filtered water. Using your hands, remove the stringy bits. Drain seeds and refill bowl if necessary. Strain cleaned pumpkin seeds though sieve or colander and spread them out on a clean dishtowel to dry.
- 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- On the stovetop, roast the pumpkin seeds in a dry cast iron skillet until they’re golden brown.
- Place roasted pumpkin seeds in a heatproof bowl and immediately sprinkle them with the teaspoon of soy sauce (listen to that sizzle!). Mix well.
- Allow pumpkin seeds to cool.
Note: Pumpkin seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Repurposing your Halloween pumpkin into tasty treats is an excellent way to begin nurturing a more sustainable, intentional life.
And while you’re at it, consider a dedicated in-home water cooler. Reducing your and your family’s reliance on single-use plastics is not only one of the easiest things you can do to help the environment, it’s also one of the most immediately impactful.
Happy Halloween from Brio!