Pumpkin Patch

One of my favorite things to grow in our garden each year is pumpkins~ small pie and big carving pumpkins!  They take up a lot of room and vine everywhere but I love to have our own little pumpkin patch.  I mostly use them to decorate around the house but I also love to cook the little ones and make a fresh dessert and roast the pumpkin seeds.

One small pie pumpkin equals about 16 oz puree when you are finished.  It’s just the perfect amount for most recipes.  I’ve never tried to cook the big jack o’lanterns because they are so big and stringy inside.  But, I have heard that people eat them too.  There are 3 basic ways to change your uncooked pumpkin into puree;  boiling, baking and microwave. I’ve always baked it….just cut it in half, get rid of stem section and stringy pulp, place face down in a pan and cover with foil.  Bake at 375 for an hour or until tender.  The outside just slides right off the flesh.  Once it cools, just scoop it out and mash it.

Keep all those seeds when you are cleaning it out.  There are so many recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds.  They are super healthy; packed full of protein, magnesium, fiber and zinc to boost your immune system.

Here is one quick and easy way to flavor those seeds:  spritz dry seeds with cooking spray, toss with a little (a little goes a long way!) cinnamon, sugar, salt and chili powder.  Roast on a baking sheet at 375 for 10 minutes.  I tried this snack idea last week and it was great!

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