When upcycling your decorative pumpkin this year, why stop at pie, when so many tasty recipes exist to use up the entire ‘kin? Following are our recipes for Honey Pumpkin Walnut Bread, Pumpkin Coffee Creamer, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.
It All Starts with Upcycled Pumpkin Puree
But what is the base for all these great upcycled pumpkin recipes? Pumpkin purée, of course. And nothing could be simpler to prepare, divvy up into small portions, and freeze for future use over the holidays.
Easy Recipe for Pumpkin Puree
Wash the pumpkin, cut off the top and scoop out the seeds (Set them to the side to make toasted pumpkin seeds, recipe below). Chop the pumpkin into manageable pieces, leaving the skin on. Place them on a greased baking sheet, skin side down, in a 375°F oven for about 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft when pierced.
Remove from oven and let cool till easy to handle. Strip off the skin and cut the flesh into chunks, which you can mash in a food processor, blender, or ricer. I find the food processor the most efficient, especially if you are handling a large pumpkin. DO NOT add any seasoning, and only add a little water if the purée is too stiff to handle.
Measure out portions of one cup and half a cup, which you can store in small containers in the fridge for up to five days or the freezer. Most recipes will call for either a half or one cup of purée, which is quick to defrost when needed.
Now that you’ve got your pumpkin puree base down, here’s a few of my favorite recipes for upcycled pumpkin.
Honey Pumpkin Walnut Bread
This recipe comes from Whole Foods Market. Of course, instead of using canned pumpkin you can break out your new store of upcycled pumpkin puree. This bread makes for a great fall breakfast or anytime snack, you can even make a few loaves and give them as an edible, upcycled gift this holiday season.
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup oat bran or wheat germ
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground clove, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce (I subbed this for canola oil)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease an 8-inch loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran or wheat germ, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a second large bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, honey, milk, pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
- Add this mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Fold in walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour.
- Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pan and set aside to let cool completely.
Homemade Pumpkin Coffee Creamer
I have a perfectly good coffee maker in my kitchen, yet the call of pumpkin spice lattes every fall makes me forget my one-trick machine and splurge on Starbucks. This year, I am avoiding the waste of buying pumpkin spice coffee by making my own. This is a recipe based on the pumpkin coffee creamer from the cooking blog “Girl Makes Food.”
In addition to saving tons of money and paper cups, this recipe is way healthier than the artificial flavorings and sweeteners most big-brand coffee places use. Adding new life to your upcycled pumpkin puree, pumpkin creamer is a big win-win all around!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of Almond Milk (substitute for regular milk, or another milk of your preference)
- 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- Maple syrup to taste (I started with 1 Tablespoon, then adjusted for sweetness)
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Blend until smooth-about 60 seconds
Just add to coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and enjoy!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
In the spirit of waste-hating, there is not an edible part of the pumpkin that cannot be upcycled. As a kid, pumpkin carving always meant toasted pumpkin seeds. They’re easy to make and undeniably delicious.
Recipe courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com.
Start by preheating the oven to 400°F. Separate out the seeds from the other pumpkin insides and rinse them in a colander.
Add the seeds to a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water then add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn down the heat and let the seeds simmer for 10-minutes.
After 10-minutes strain the seeds and place them on a cookie sheet. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top of your seeds and shake them around to ensure they’re all coated with oil.
When all the seeds are coated place the cookie sheet on the top rack of the oven to bake until they begin to brown. This takes from 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of your seeds.
Once the seeds are evenly browned, remove from the oven and put them in a bowl to cool. Once they have cooled completely they’re ready to eat.
What are your favorite pumpkin-y recipes and memories?
From decoration to delicious, upcycling proves to be a way tastier alternative to tossing that pumpkin any day! Please share your pumpkin-y recipes and memories.
Kate Good contributed to this post.
*Link here to find out which kind of pumpkins make for the best puree
Link here to get a copy of Jocelyn Deprez’s book, The Refrigerator Files.