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NOVEMBER: Use the Whole Pumpkin

Cooking squash and (pie) pumpkins can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. The only difference between those and jack-o-lantern pumpkins is that the latter are bred for their size, shape, and outward appearance. You can eat a jack-o-lantern, but it will not have the depth of flavor of other winter eating squash. You can also use sweeter pie pumpkins in savory recipes (think sweet potato) as well as savory squash in sweet recipes, like pie, because you are adding sugar.

Use the Whole Squash/Pumpkin

No pumpkin left behind: use both the seeds and the meat! Seeds can be roasted and eaten alone, added to trail mix, or a topping for soup. To process a squash or pumpkin:

  1. Cut in half lengthwise (top to bottom).
  2. Scoop out seeds and guts (stringy stuff holding seeds) and set aside in a bowl. The meat of the squash is the thick part under the skin and should be between 1 and 4 inches thick depending on the variety of squash.
  3. Roast the meat for pie, soups, and other dishes.
  4. Roast the seeds.

Roasting the Meat for Pie, Soups, or Other Dishes

  1. Put each half of the squash skin side down on a baking dish/pan with parchment underneath. Roast at 350°F for 45-60 minutes or a little longer depending on the size of the squash. Like a cooking a potato, it is done when a fork slides easily into the meat.
  2. Let the squash cool and scoop out the meat with a spoon into a wire strainer. ( I do not suggest plastic as squash tends to stain plastic, nor are the holes small enough.) Let drain for 1-2 hours. If you are planning to use squash for pie filling or soup, stir the meat in the strainer to mash it and get more water out. Once you have it drained and mashed without lumps, it is ready to be used (or frozen) in a pie. Most recipes call for a 15oz can of pie filling. I have found that 2 cups (16oz) substitutes perfectly in your favorite pie recipe. Or try my favorite, the Pumpkin-Chiffon recipe below.

Pumpkin-Chiffon Pie

I like this recipe because I can use dairy and eggs from the farm. By whipping the eggs whites you get a fluffier and creamier texture. Use two cups of your drained squash or pumpkin filling from from recipe above. 

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pumpkin-chiffon-pie

Roasting the Seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Separate the seeds from the guts and rinse (though I have friends that don’t rinse and they turn out just fine.)
  3. On a baking pan with parchment spread the seeds so that they are generally not touching each other.
  4. Sprinkle on a little sea salt or other flavor that you like on nuts.
  5. Bake for 10- 20 minutes. After 10 minutes try the seeds to see if you would like them more crispy. This is all personal preference.
  6. Let them cool completely before packaging.

Note: I do not suggesting roasting the meat and seeds at the same time as the squash is releasing moisture into the oven air and the seeds are trying to dry out.

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Wheat Ridge, CO  80033
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