So Halloween has come and gone; the weather is getting chilly, and you're left with loads of pumpkins that you have no idea what to do with. Now of course you cannot use the Jack-o-lantern that's been sitting outside for weeks; throw him in the compost pile and call it a day. As for the mini pumkins, I've got a great recipe for you.
End of Summer
I love the varieties of squash available this time of year; they are a reminder of the end of the scorching days of summer, and the beginning of fall. There are so many ways to prepare these wonderful fruits, but roasting them is probably my favorite. Roasting squash brings up the natural sugars and enhances the nutty flavors. Butternut squash is probably my favorite, but now we will focus on mini pumpkins. I count it a bonus when roasting mini pumpkins, as you can eat both the flesh and the seeds. Reserve the seeds and toss with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasoning and roast at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
Weight Loss and Cancer Prevention
Roasted pumpkin soup is simple, tasty and filling. This sweet and creamy concoction is guaranteed to bring you comfort and joy on a windy fall day. I like to top mine with homemade crispy croutons for texture. This soup does far more than taste good, pumpkins boast a whopping 3g of fiber and just 49 calories per cup; it keeps you fuller longer so you eat less, and shed pounds. Packed with vitamin A and loaded with beta-carotene, which according to the National Cancer Institute, may play a role in preventing cancer, pumpkins are almost the perfect food. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.
1 small pumpkin, roasted (I used the pumpkin pie variety)
1tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp diced shallots
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup cashew milk
salt and pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pulp. Place cut pumpkin cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and rub 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil on the outer surface. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from over and allow to cool. Meanwhile in a medium sauce pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat and add shallots and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add sherry and allow to reduce (appr 4 minutes). While sherry is reducing, use a large spoon to remove the pumpkin from its skin and add pumpkin and vegetable broth and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cashew milk, salt and pepper, and nutmeg. Serve warm.