Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins

 

pumpkins-anyone

Pumpkins, anyone?????  It’s October and pumpkin season in the Okanagan.  These adorable little pumpkins are super for decorating, and make the best pumpkin flesh.  Roast up a few, and freeze it for using in the middle of winter when pumpkin season is just a memory.

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I like oven roasting my pumpkins, seems to intensify the flavour and – not only that, super easy!

Cut pumpkins in half, scoop out seeds and turn upside down on roasting pan (I like to cover with parchment paper for easy clean up)

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Set those yummy pumpkin seeds aside for another day …. roasted with some seasoning they are a great snack or addition to salads!

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Once you scoop out the roasted pumpkin flesh, use an immersion blender to puree it all, then turn it into a heavy bottom pot and allow to reduce slightly …. (4 cups pumpkin flesh should reduce to 3).  Removing some of this water makes for more flavourful pumpkin flesh.

 

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe with toasted pumpkin seeds

Crunchy carmelized pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of chile oil make this creamy hummus a fabulous appetizer!

Crunchy carmelized pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of chile oil make this creamy hummus a fabulous appetizer!

I roasted quite a bit of pumpkin this fall, when in season, and this hummus recipe is a great way to use it – pumpkin isn’t just for scones!

Chile Cilantro Oil

1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tbsp minced seeded chile pepper (your fave – Jalapeno if you want a mild heat..)
salt to taste

Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1 tbsp brown or raw sugar
pinch of cayenne
salt to taste

Hummus
1 15 ounce can chickpeas – rinsed and drained
1 cup pumpkin puree (thawed if previously frozen)
1/4 cup tahini
3 – 4 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 – 4 tbsp water
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste

To make the chile oil – using a small saucepan heat the oil until hot (about 3-5 min). Pour into a small bowl and add the cilantro and chile. Let cool before tasting and seasoning with salt.

To make the pumpkin seeds – in a small frypan toast the seeds in the oil JUST until they start to brown and puff up – around 5 minu7tes. Add the sugar, cayenne and and about 1/4 tsp salt. Continue to cook, tossing as the sugar melts and the seeds continue to brown. When they are a toasty brown, turn them out on to a plate to completely cool.

Finally – the hummus! Simply toss all the ingredients (except salt) into a food processor – I would start with 3 tbsp each of the lemon juice and water and check for consistency – adding more if necessary. Give it all a good whir until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust with more liquid, adding salt if you like.

Serve with pita crisps, tortilla chips, rice crackers or vegetables! A winner all around.