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5 Ways to Cook with Pumpkin



Pumpkin is the quintessential fall season emblem. From Jack-O-Lanterns to Pumpkin Spice Latte, the pumpkin craze hit groceries store shelves and bakery glass cases with a vengeance to be known and heard. Luckily, cooking with pumpkin is easier than it looks, especially when using canned pumpkin. From soups to desserts, these easy to whip together pumpkin recipes are perfect for the fall and holiday season.

Nutritional Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin provides miraculous health benefits, mostly known for its high content of Vitamin A, perfect for benefitting vision health. Pumpkin is also high in carotenoids and fiber. The pumpkin seeds are a perfect source for iron and phytosterols, which assist in lowering LDL cholesterol.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t throw out your left over pumpkin, but make the most of the flesh and seeds. Separate the seeds from the pumpkin and rinse with cold water. Oil a baking sheet and spread a single layer of seeds on the sheet. Sprinkle with salt (or for something spicy, choose hotter spices) and cook in an oven at 325-degrees for 25 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, stir the seeds and let the remaining time cook. After baking, let seeds cool and store in a plastic container.

Pumpkin Soup
Not all pumpkin soup is created equal. From creamy to curry, choose a soup that works for your palate. For a simple and easy creamy pumpkin soup, mix together one can of pumpkin, two cups chicken or vegetable stock, ½ cup half and half, ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice. Simmer ingredients, whisking for approximately five minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Bake Pumpkin Bread
This bake pumpkin bread recipe is easy and uses either two loaf pans or one 9×13 glass pan. Mix together wet ingredients: one cup softened butter and two cups of sugar. Combine with 3 beaten eggs (or ¾ box of silken Mori-Nu Tofu to make it vegan). Mix dry ingredients: 3 cups all purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1.5 teaspoons baking soda, 1.5 teaspoons of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, pinch of salt. Mix wet dry ingredients and fold in 15 ounces of pumpkin. Cook at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a fork comes out dry from the bread.

Pumpkin Pancakes
Combine 2 cups of dry pancake mix, 1-teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt and 1.5 cups of water. Add ¾ cups of pumpkin and mix until well blended. Add more water if mix is lumpy, or add pancake mix if the batter is runny. Pour onto heated and oiled griddle. Once the top bubbles, flip the cake. Serve hot with syrup.

Traditional Baked Pumpkin
Cut pumpkin flesh into cubes or edible bites. Mix in a bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350-degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until a fork can poke through the pumpkin. Serve with your favorite meat or eat a la carte.

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