Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pumpkin Goodness

It may be too early in the year to even mention pumpkins but there is a fun new cookbook that celebrates the gourd. After all, pumpkin is not just a fall October thing.It can be eaten all year round in a variety of yummy savory and sweet recipes

Pumpkin It Up (Gibbs Smith Press)written by Eliza Cross, a well known cookbook writer, is a cookbook that celebrates all things. pumpkin. (Keep in mind that this time of year is the perfect time to plant pumpkin seeds if you want homegrown organic pumpkins in the fall).She breaks the myth of cooking the gourd in the autumn months. The dishes can be made now for any summer feasting.The chapters include basic recipes,beverages and sweets along with muffin and breads.There are also savory recipes as seen in the chapters devoted to soups and stews, sides dishes and dinners. There is even one featuring pumpkin breakfast recipes. Of course there is a chapter on dessert along with one on cookies and bars. Ms. Cross also has two pages on hints as well. They are good, especially the ones advising  when it comes to picking ones from the patch . She writes that it's best to pick out the smaller ones for making pie because they're sweeter and have a smoother texture than the ones used for carving jack-o-lanterns.Also use an ice cream scoop, a serrated grapefruit knife or a melon baller .when scooping out the flesh. One important hint is discerning between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling. The last already has spices in it and could ruin a savory dish if used.Another good fact to know is that the puree freezes well and can last up to nine months in the freezer .

The recipes are varied with a mix of the familiar and the fun. Starbucks lovers will go made for pumpkin spice latte, true to the name thanks to the addition of a cup of pumpkin puree.A perfect beverage for even cool summer nights is the pumpkin spiced cider.Imagine have the healthy gourd for breakfast. You can, thanks to recipes like pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin waffles along with a Dutch  baby, that big pancake from Holland, made delicious with pumpkin and walnut. The savory recipes include the trendy but easy to make pumpkin ravioli along with pumpkin risotto, a mix of Arborio rice, sugar pumpkins and button mushrooms. Due to the squash's mildness it is excellent paired with different meats.It can be paired with turkey for an enchiladas or with chicken and apples for a spin on chicken Kiev.Pumpkins can be used as a side as for fries or baked with Brussells sprouts.It puts a different twist on the traditional fave baked mac and cheese..Of course pumpkin shines in pie and the book has three recipes: the traditional holiday one, but also a chiffon one and a pumpkin cream pie. Then there are the non traditional  ones like the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin tiramisu. Try the pumpkin holes or monkey bread, both livened up by pureed pumpkin. There are the tasty crispies a kind of sweet pumpkin fritter. Candy lovers will lose their gourd over the pumpkin fudge and a spin on Reese's peanut butter cups - with creamy pumpkin filling poured into chocolate cups.

Pumpkin It Up is a great cookbook for pumpkin lovers and for those wanting more nutrition in their lives. It shows that pumpkin is not just for lattes and pies but can be made into tasty pastas and rices along with candy .The cookbook is a true salute to a humble gourd.
The  book comes out in August but you can preorder on Amazon now,

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