Pumpkin Extravaganza

Have I mentioned before that I adore pumpkin. Really anything from the squash family I will eat without question. I’m looking forward to fall and all of the interesting winter squash our Farm Fresh produce will bring. If anyone has any great recipes to share, I’d love to cook something new.

For now (whilst my dear pumpkins are decorating the house for the season) I have been busy with the canned version. Over the next few posts I hope to share some of my favorite pumpkin recipes including this first post about a very versatile bread base. I found a recipe a few years back on the AllRecipes.com website that I have altered many times to cut the fat. It can be turned into loaves of bread or muffins, or a combination if you use the whole recipe. It tastes great with nuts or chocolate chips, and this time I made a loaf with green pumpkin seeds. All delicious.

Pumpkin is something I never grow tired of, and one of the first pies I made from scratch. It is so simple to use from a can, especially since the canned pumpkin folks haven’t added strange life extending chemicals to the mix. I am happy to say that my can of pumpkin contains solely “pumpkin”. Pumpkin from scratch is good as well but a lot more work. First you have to cut it in pieces which may be a challenge if you don’t have a super sharp chef’s knife. Then you wait around while it roasts, then you scoop out the contents, then you blend it up and hope your pumpkin was big enough to yield more than enough for you recipe. I enjoy cooking it from scratch every now and then, but typically I am using a butternut squash and making an amazing soup. Maybe this year I’ll try and recreate one of my favorite dishes, pumpkin curry with chicken….

I used the entire recipe below and made muffins – half with chocolate chips and half with a crumb topping. I had the crumb topping left over from the apple crisp and will say that it was not the most interesting addition to the muffin. Chocolate chips on the other hand are amazing. Pumpkin and chocolate go together well. I was mildly depressed that I hadn’t just made the whole batch with chocolate chips (I think M was too). The other half of the batter I dumped into my loaf pan and topped it generously with green pumpkin seeds. These are really tasty seeds and when added to the top of the bread toast very well. I don’t much like my muffins to taste like they should be a dessert so I steer clear of the cream cheese filling. A dear woman who my sister and I call “grandma Blanch” makes a very heavy pie with cream cheese and lots of whipped topping. I can only eat a sliver of it. I can however eat a decent slice of pumpkin cheesecake (which I should make for this Extravaganza). I hope you find some canned pumpkin to try out the upcoming recipes with. If you have any great ideas let me know!

Pumpkin Bread Base

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1/2 C vegetable oil

1/2 C plain yogurt

2/3 C water

2 C white sugar

3 1/2 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

and a splash of vanilla if you feel like it

1/2 C chocolate chips, 1/4 C pumpkin seeds, 1/4 C walnuts or almonds chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour one 9×4 inch loaf pan and line 12 muffin cups. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, yogurt, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Fill the muffins 2/3 full and pour the rest into the loaf pan. Bake muffins for 25 minutes and the loaf for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Extravaganza

  1. yum, thanks… I was thinking of doing something similar because I am not a huge fan of the combo for breakfast… but doing a swirl for dessert might be fantastic, or a pumpkin roll. ooh the possibilities. I may also make some pumpkin lasagna

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