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Pumpkins are not just lanterns! Use them in many dishes

Pumpkin

Every season brings with it a different atmosphere, a distinct aroma, specific moments and impressions. Remember the smell of new school books in September, the excitement of the first snow flakes in December? This sense of expectation is exactly what we send you every month. Created and organized along monthly themes, we provide you with culinary tips, recipes and articles that will inspire you each and every time!


Tips and advice on cooking with pumpkin

A little history...

The pumpkin is native of North America. It is a variety of squash from the cucurbitaceae family of fruit. Imported from Europe by the Conquistadores, American Indians have been cultivating the pumpkin for over 8000 years.

Characteristics...

The pumpkin is one of many members of the winter squash family that have a firm, thick, inedible skin, which allows them to keep longer than summer squashes. The pumpkin's orange-yellow flesh is dry, sweet and tastier than most other winter squashes.


  • The traditional soup, served in a hollowed out pumpkin, offers double the pleasure: a feast for the eyes and the palate. Make this soup even more spectacular by adding a little shredded goat cheese on top and serving it au gratin.
  • Pureed, pumpkin is a tasty complement to poultry, white meat or variety meats (offals). It makes beef or chicken broth more unctuous and brings a touch of originality when diced up and added to couscous, pot-au-feu, stew, or spaghetti sauce.
  • For dessert, the possibilities are endless, from pumpkin pie to muffins, cakes, compote, flan, sherbert, and the list goes on...

Winning combinations

pumpkin combinations

Seasoning your pumpkin brings it from mild to mmm…mmm…good!

With herbs and spices :

  • Saffron
  • Curry powder
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Chives
  • Parsley

Pumpkin with veggies

With vegetables:

  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Celery
  • Parsnip
  • Carrot
  • Other squashes

...and cooking methods

Peel the winter squash and remove seeds as well as surrounding fibres. Save the seeds, for they are excellent dried and toasted as well as very nutritious.

Oven baking

1Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.

2Place both halves in an oven-safe dish and, using a fork, pierce the flesh.

3Bake it at 180° C (350° F) until tender, 30 to 60 minutes depending on size.

4Remove from the oven and drizzle a little oil or butter in the cavity, then season with cinnamon, nutmeg, or any other seasoning, depending on what you plan to serve it with. Spoon out and puree the flesh.


Steaming

1Peel the pumpkin, cut in two and remove the seeds.

2Cut the flesh into smaller pieces.

3Steam for 10 to 20 minutes, or until tender.

4Puree, season and serve.


Storage Life

Whole, a pumpkin will keep from several weeks to several months in a cool, dry, well ventilated area. At room temperature, it will keep for one week. Peeled and cooked, it freezes very well and will keep for several months in the freezer. An easy way to prepare pumpkin for use in your recipes is to cook, puree, and then freeze it in small portions.

Selecting a pumpkin

Look for a pumpkin that is compact, heavy for its size, blemish-free, firm and not shiny (dull). When buying, calculate 250 ml (1 cup) of pumpkin flesh per pound. A 2.27 kg (5 lb) pumpkin will yield 1.25 L (5 cups) of flesh.

Thawing small portions

To defrost a 250 ml (1 cup) portion of pureed or diced pumpkin, place in the upper part of a double boiler and let thaw for about 30 minutes.



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