There are numerous health benefits from eating pumpkin. It’s brilliant orange coloring is from its ample supply of beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body for good eye health. Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are believed to help prevent cataracts.

There are numerous health benefits from eating pumpkin. It’s brilliant orange coloring is from its ample supply of beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body for good eye health. Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are believed to help prevent cataracts.

Pumpkin is low in calories. It is also rich in dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins, like Vitamin A, C and E. It is a good source of B-complex vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin-B-6, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

Pumpkin can be made into many different types of recipes: pies, cakes, cookies, candies, breads, muffins, soups, side dishes, beer, and even facial creams. Here is a tasty selection of recipes, maybe you will find one that you like.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon and Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In small bowl, mix all ingredients. Spread on ungreased cookie sheet in single layer.

Bake about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until seeds begin to brown. Cool for at least 15-20 minutes before eating.

 

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Makes about 3 ½ cups.

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix

Pinch of ground ginger

Pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon

1 cup half-and-half

¼ cup dry white wine (Optional)

In a blender combine pumpkin puree and ¾ cup chicken broth. Cover and blend about 1-minute until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium size saucepan melt butter; stir in flour, ginger, Chinese Five-Spice or cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add half-and-half all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly, stir in wine (Optional). Cook 1-minute more. Stir in pumpkin mixture and remaining broth. Cook and stir until heated through. Add additional half-and-half, if desired for consistency. Top with a scoop of sour cream, if desired.

Pumpkin Fudge With Pecans

2/3 cup evaporated milk

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

7 ounces marshmallow crème

2 tablespoons butter

Pinch of salt

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts (Optional)

Line a 9 x9 –inch pan with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat milk and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Stir in pumpkin puree, cinnamon and salt, bring back to a boil. Fold in marshmallow crème and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 18 minutes.

Remove from heat; add white chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Stir until creamy and all the chips are melted. Fold in chopped toasted nuts, if desired, combine well. Cool, remove from pan, and cut into squares. Store in a cool, dry place.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

24 gingersnap cookies

¾ cup toasted pecans

3 tablespoons melted butter

4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix

2 teaspoons Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a blender or food processor finely crush gingersnaps and ¼ cup of pecans. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until blended. Add pumpkin, Chinese Five-Spice, and vanilla, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over gingersnap crust.

In a 325 degree oven bake for one hour and 20 minutes, or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim of pan and cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake for 4-hours.

In a skillet heat honey and remaining pecans on medium high heat for 5-minutes or until honey is foamy and nut mixture is heated through, stirring frequently. Spread onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, use a fork to separate nuts slightly. Cool completely.

Top cheese cake with glazed nuts before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

These bars are as rich and creamy as a slice of pumpkin pie. They are easier to grab and eat.

Crust:

1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

In a bowl with an electric mixer cream butter with the sugars on medium speed for 2-minutes. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour and salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 –inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch of overhang on the long sides.

Transfer the dough to the pan and press it over the bottom and 1 ¼ inches up the side all around. Covering the dough with plastic wrap helps when pressing dough with the bottom of a measuring cup. Be sure the corners are not too thick. Refrigerate until firm.

Bake the crust for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown; halfway through baking, use the back of a spoon too smooth the sides and corners of the crust. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool before filling.

Filing:

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together sugars, cinnamon, Chinese Five-Spice, and salt.

In another bowl whisk eggs then whisk into sugar mixture, then whisk in pumpkin puree and evaporated milk until smooth.

Pour filling into the baked crust and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 25-30 minutes longer, until the filling is fully set. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely. Cut into bars and serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Letting this set overnight adds to the flavor.

Pumpkin Cake Roll with Nuts

Adapted from Daisy Sour Cream Recipe.

½ cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

3 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2/3 cup canned pure pumpkin puree

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons Chinese Five-Spice, or pumpkin pie spice, or ground cinnamon

1 cup sour cream

1 3.3 ounce package instant white chocolate pudding mix

2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle a clean linen kitchen towel with 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar.

Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; line the bottom with waxed paper. Grease and flour the waxed paper. Sprinkle the nuts over the waxed paper.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until thick and light colored, about 5 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin puree. Beat until light and smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix the batter.

Spread the batter in the pan over the nuts. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly tapped. Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen. Turn upside down on powdered sugar-covered towel. Remove the waxed paper. Starting at short side of the cake, roll it up in towel. Place on cooling rack until completely cooled, about 1- hour.

When the cake is cool, combine sour cream, pudding mix, and milk in medium bowl. Mix on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes or until thick. Unroll the cake from the towel. Spread the filling over the cake. Reroll the cake without the towel.

Sprinkle a sheet of plastic wrap or foil with 2 -tablespoons of the remaining confectioners’ sugar. Roll the cake in this. Wrap the cake in the plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 1- hour. Generously sift the remaining powdered sugar over the cake roll. Slice to serve. Store covered in refrigerator.

Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing, and second place for her Sweet Blueberry Pepper Jelly in 2015; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.