October Seasonal Recipes: Pumpkin
Written by Kelli Baker | Reviewed by Laura Kahn MS, RDN, CDN
Nothing is more synonymous with October and the autumn weather than pumpkin. The mere sight of a big orange pumpkin at the local farmers market, pumpkin patch or grocery store can conjure up happy, festive feelings. Although pumpkin is usually thought of in terms of some devilish delights, such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies, it is also a very delicious and healthy food with a ton of versatility. Not only is the flesh of the pumpkin low in calories (49 calories per cup), but it is also rich in fiber, beta carotene, and potassium. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are extremely nutritious as they are loaded with protein and tryptophan, the latter of which can help to improve mood and regulate sleep. Below are some unique pumpkin recipes to enjoy this fall season.
Pumpkin Stew (cooked inside of the pumpkin)
10-12lb. whole pumpkin
2 lbs. chuck beef stew meat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bell pepper, sliced in large pieces
1 onion, diced
4 medium potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 (15oz.) can diced tomatoes
2-3 cups water
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Carve a hole in the top of the pumpkin; remove seeds and pulp. Set aside.
- Brown meat in Dutch oven, then add vegetables, salt, pepper, and water. Let simmer 1 hour.
- Place pumpkin in shallow baking pan. Fill with stew mixture. Brush sides of pumpkin with oil and cook in oven for 2 hours or until pumpkin is tender.
- Be sure to include pieces of pumpkin flesh in your stew—this enhances the flavor of the dish. Enjoy!
Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon
2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds, washed, cleaned and dried
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place pumpkin seeds in a medium-size bowl and set aside.
- In a small, microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, oil and honey. Microwave until the butter melts and the honey is runny. Pour the honey mixture over the pumpkin seeds and stir. Add the cinnamon and stir again.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over both ends. Spread seeds on baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the seeds and honey are a deep golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Once the seeds are roasted, remove from the oven and stir again. Continue to stir as they cool in order to prevent sticking.
- Enjoy the seeds once they are cool. Store uncovered for up to one week.
- Nuts and seeds, especially when coated in a form of sugar (in this case, honey), tend to burn quickly and easily. Watch closely and stir often. If the seeds appear to be browning too quickly, lower the oven temperature.
Curried Pumpkin Soup with Coconut and Pumpkin Seeds
1 medium pumpkin
1 tablespoon olive oil + ½ tablespoon
1 bunch scallions, diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1/4-1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Remove top of pumpkin. Quarter pumpkin and remove seeds. Save seeds and set aside.
- Scrape out remaining small seeds and pulp. Place each quarter face down in baking dish and roast for 30-4o minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Carefully remove pumpkin from the shell and measure out 3 packed cups of pumpkin flesh. Set aside.
- Rinse seeds, removing remaining pulp. Toss with ½ tablespoon olive oil and salt. Spread on baking sheet and roast until crispy, 10-15 minutes.
- In a saucepan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add scallions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and let cook for 30 seconds more, just until fragrant.
- Add pumpkin and 2 cups vegetable broth to saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and puree with immersion blender (or carefully with a regular blender), adding more vegetable broth to reach desire soup consistency.
- Return to heat, add in ¼ cup coconut milk and let simmer until ready to serve.
- Serve topped with extra swirl of coconut milk and roasted pumpkin seeds.
- If fresh pumpkin is unavailable, canned pumpkin will suffice.
- If unable to roast fresh pumpkin seeds, pre-roasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas are fine.
- Curry paste is an alternative to curry powder, however, taste pate before using.
- If it’s overly spicy, reduce the amount accordingly.