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Winter Squash vs. Pumpkin, Part 2

I am a local chef who enjoys wandering around Farmers Markets in search a beautiful seasonal ingredients. My blog will hopefully demystify them and give you a few ideas and recipes for your table.

Cue the Charlie Brown music, and let's talk about pumpkins. Unlike Linus' ongoing vigil in the pumpkin patch waiting on the Great Pumpkin, we do in fact have this glorious fruit (yes, it is botanically a fruit) appear every year in the Fall. Pumpkins are loaded with all kinds of nutrients: they have high levels of Vitamin A, Folate and Fiber, low in calories and zero fat or cholesterol. Another one of our favorite "super foods!"

Pumpkins come in many shapes and sizes and are used in a variety of ways: baked, roasted and pureed. I considered doing a fun dessert, but that just seemed a little too easy. So putting my thinking cap on this week I came up with two different soups and a stew to share with you. This week was special not only because I was on a creative streak with my pumpkin recipes, but because Larry and I were having dinner with my fellow Small Bites blogger JL Fields, and her husband Dave.

JL and I were thrown together quite by chance and all thanks to Liz Johnson. We met this summer in a whirlwind Throwdown Competition that basically came out of an email exchange about recipes. She and Dave are on their “Farewell to NY Tour” at the moment, getting ready to move to Colorado in a few short weeks. While we’ve just become new friends it was an honor for me to have her dine with us recently.
I don’t profess to know all that it takes to be vegan, that is her bailiwick, but she has educated me on many things vegan, and I am so very grateful. Food is one of the few things in humanity that crosses all cultures, preferences and classes. We all need to eat to survive. Since I entered the world of food as a career I have such a different appreciation of ingredients and preparation.

That said, I was on a recipe-creating streak this week and I came up with three interesting ways to use two different types of pumpkins. Both that I used came directly from Gaia's Breath Farm, through my CSA Basket. However, you can easily use the store bought variety, and even substitute with butternut squash. The only thing I would suggest is using a smaller sized pumpkin. They are sweeter and less fibrous. The gigantic ones are really only good for carving, in my opinion. The flavor level is very low. The other suggestion would be to not use the canned variety in these recipes either.

Click here to read more about pumpkins and see my easy recipes! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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