It’s been a week and you’ve probably finished the leftover turkey, stuffing, and beans — but what do you do with that leftover pumpkin you have in your fridge or freezer?
This article is for those of you who use real pumpkin in your pumpkin pie — a dying breed, I know, but I respect your dedication to tradition. I myself use real pumpkin, mostly because if I don’t I think it would disappoint my mother.
A small cooked pie pumpkin usually yields enough pumpkin to make two pies. However, if you are like me and really don’t require two pies for Thanksgiving dinner, that means you have about two cups of pre-cooked filling to use up. The good news is that it’s still October, which means that pumpkin goods are still wildly popular. Here are a few ideas for those of you with some puree pumpkin leftover from your Thanksgiving cooking.
Have your pumpkin warm in a pasta dish:
Puree the pumpkin until it’s the consistency of a sauce and then pour it in a pot. Heat it up with some cream or milk, garlic, Parmesan cheese, vinegar, and some spices to taste. If you want a more cheese-based sauce, try adding some cream cheese. This will create a creamy, but sweet, sauce that will rival any white sauce you’ve had to date.
If you aren’t a fan of creamy sauces, try adding chunks of pumpkin to your pasta dish. Pumpkin compliments seafood, but it will taste good with about anything. My favourite is to mix it with sausage, tomatoes, and coriander with a light oil-based dressing. It’s a simple way to make your pasta dishes warm and festive.
Use it in smoothies or overnight oats for a quick breakfast:
Because the pumpkin is already cooked, it’s safe to use it in cold dishes, which is great because it tastes delicious in breakfasts. If you love smoothies, try blending some pumpkin puree, a banana, some milk (soy or 1 %), cinnamon, and a sweetening agent like maple syrup. Add some ice cubes to cool the drink. It’ll be like drinking pumpkin pie, but slightly healthier.
If you don’t like blended foods, try overnight oats — they are just as easy to make as a smoothie, except you have to do it the night before. In a jar, put a quarter of a cup of oats with half a cup of milk (or coconut milk), a bit of puree pumpkin, some chia seeds, cinnamon, and of course a sweetening agent. Add fruit or nuts if desired. Shake up the jar (with the lid on) until everything is mixed together and place in the fridge overnight. You can eat this cold or heat it up at work.
Make baked goods, because you can never have enough:
I love pumpkin muffins and scones — but store-bought baked goods can sometimes be way too sweet and full of preservatives. Try making them at home! There are hundreds of recipes online, but before you get too overwhelmed, remember this golden rule. For muffin, you are simply replacing milk with pumpkin as a liquid ingredient. Sure, there will be a few extra spices to add and nuts to sprinkle on top if desired, but the recipe itself is as simple as making blueberry muffins.
Scones are a bit more challenging, but it’s only because you are handling a specific type of dough. However, in essence, a pumpkin scone is just a regular scone…with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. Make sure to create an icing to drizzle on top of it. Remember: don’t douse it like they do at other coffee shops. Have fun with some designs or simply create a few lines on top of your baked good.
Enjoy your baking!
Do you have a favourite pumpkin recipe? Post it in the comments below!