As I was walking into my neighborhood grocery store here in Phoenix, one of the first things I noticed was the sugar pumpkins that greeted me beyond the sliding doors. Excitedly, I debated with myself about whether it was a good time to purchase one of these seasonal treats. I decided to wait a couple more weeks, since a) I don’t have the time to make anything cool right now and b) I wanted to experiment a little bit with different flavor variations (see: pumpkin-ginger seems like a winner). I have always been a huge fan of pumpkin in everything from the traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin-based soups, and pumpkin bread loaves. However, a couple of years ago my fascination sparked immense curiosity for what could possibly be the most versatile autumn seasonal fruit.
A couple things that you should know about pumpkins:
I. Pumpkin pie is great, but you can also use pumpkin in other things such as pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pancakes and waffles, pumpkin crème Brule, ice cream, and cheesecakes.
II. You can fry pumpkin! I never knew that you could prepare them that way until I found a recipe for Pan-fried Pumpkin via the book “How to cook everything vegetarian.” Some of my favorite pan-fried variations include: pumpkin with tomato sauce, yogurt, and mint; pumpkin with cranberries and pistachios; and pan-fried pumpkin with maple syrup.
III. Pumpkin seeds are absolutely edible and very good for you. Not only do roasted pumpkin seeds provide you with a ton of Omega-3 fatty acids, but they can be used to make pumpkin-seed oil which is often used in homemade salad dressings.
IV. Canned or pureed pumpkin can help with your pet’s digestive issues. Its high-fiber content helps alleviate certain digestive problems amongst cats and dogs while providing dense nutrients at the same time. Many veterinarians recommend this.
*Some essential spices that you should have this pumpkin season: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and cayenne pepper.