by Jaclyn Holtzman
Thanksgiving has come and gone, you fed yourself silly, and you are moving onward and upward to the heart of the holiday season. The winter holidays bring about a whole new genre of food replacing the sweet potatoes and pumpkin with cookies and candy canes. If you are like me, you stocked up on canned pumpkin during the Thanksgiving season fearing a repeat of the horrific “canned pumpkin shortage of 2009-2010”. The question of the hour- “What do I do with all my leftover canned pumpkin?” Well, friends, you can save it until next year or (in my opinion the better choice) use it! I have some great pumpkin recipes for you, one for each meal. I share this with you because after opening a can of pumpkin, I find myself frantically looking for other ways to use it so as not to waste the rest of the can. (Pumpkin does freeze well, though, so that is another option).
I have a confession: The only reason I ran out to buy canned pumpkin in early November was because all of my favorite bloggers were doing so. Call me a sheep; go ahead. My first hundred attempts at cooking with pumpkin were failures. Only recently have I mastered the art of pumpkin cooking, and I feel it only fair to share my expertise with you.
Pumpkin does lose some of its nutrients in the canning process, as most foods do, but fear not! Canned pumpkin is still a nutrition powerhouse, and it is available in stores year round! It provides you with an enormous amount of beta-carotenes along with other essential vitamins and minerals. It is also worlds more convenient to cook with than plain ole pumpkin. Dig in!
I buy Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin, which can be found at nearly every grocery store; and it is oh so cheap (about $3 for a 29 oz can). I feel it necessary to mention that Libby’s started in Chicago and produced in the Midwest (the weather was the cause of the pumpkin shortage). As a native Chicagoan I feel it necessary to both apologize for the shortage and accept thank you notes for the canned pumpkin.
The Promised Pumpkin Procedures:
2/3 c old-fashioned oats
¼ c low fat cottage cheese
¼ c canned pumpkin
1 egg white
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp agave
Pumpkin Protein Smoothie
½ c unsweetened almond milk (or whatever milk variety you enjoy)
¼ c non-fat Greek yogurt (or whatever yogurt variety you enjoy)
1 scoop of protein powder (if you’d like)
1 handful of spinach (added nutrients without any taste!)
4-5 ice cubes
¼ tsp cinnamon
Makes 2 servings, adjust as necessary
2 servings of whole wheat pasta (I used Market Pantry-112g)
1 c of frozen shrimp
3/4 tbsp butter, divided (I used Smart Balance light original with Flax)
½ onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic
½ c canned pumpkin
¾ c chicken broth
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
½ c wheat germ (if desired, to be used as mock breadcrumbs)
Enjoy your day full of pumpkin meals!