Pumpkin Fever!

I have to admit, there was a time when I couldn't understand what all the excitement over pumpkin was.

Growing up, the only pumpkin I remember eating was canned pumpkin in pumpkin pies. As an adult, living overseas in the middle East for 10 years, I never saw anyone get excited about pumpkins. So when we moved back to the US and fall rolled around and people were getting excited about pumpkins, and pumpkin flavored foods and drinks were popping up everywhere, I decided I had to see what all the fuss was about.

And two years ago, I found out when I bought my first pumpkin. After I cooked that pumpkin, I had so much of it I had to freeze some. I must have made like 4 pies and maybe 4 or 5 loaves of pumpkin bread from that 1 pumpkin! And, of course, we roasted the seeds.

I was so disappointed last year when I could not find even 1 pumpkin in the grocery store. So, this year, the very first time I saw pumpkins, I came back the next day and got one.

Pumpkin 2016
Our Pumpkin 2016 (maybe the first of a few)

I told myself that I wanted to branch out and try some savory dishes with pumpkin this year but of course I have to make the wonderful desserts, inshaa Allah.

I plan to post pictures of our pumpkin delicacies here as we make them, in shaa Allah as well as all the different pumpkin flavored things we find in the stores. In the meantime, if you haven't ever tried pumpkin, there are some recipes and cooking tips below from various sites that you can check out:

Cooking Pumpkin

1. Cut the pumpkin up into sections. I cut it into 4 large pieces.

2. I scraped out all the seeds and pumpkin "guts." On the top layer of pumpkin flesh there will be a lot of stringy stuff, so take that off til you get to the more solid pumpkin flesh.

3. Spray the inside pumpkin flesh with baking spray (or brush with oil).

4. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet/tray. I put my pumpkins face down (the interior towards the tray) because I read that that yielded a softer texture. You can also place it face up for a more roasted, darker color. (see "Two Methods for Cooking Pumpkin" above)
Before Roasting
5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 60-90 minutes (mine took 90 minutes). I cooked two halves for 90 minutes, then the other two for 90 minutes.

After Roasting

After cutting up, scraping out, and roasting, this was our haul from this year's pumpkin. I didn't weigh it but if I had to guess, I'd say it was maybe 10 lbs.

I got about 6 bags of 2 cups each (one is missing as I made pumpkin pancakes with it). I like to store them separately in amounts that I will use. My pumpkin pie recipe calls for 2 cups of pumpkin per pie, and my pumpkin loaves call for 1 cup per loaf, but I always make at least 2 loaves. I estimate that with this I can make 4 pies, 4 loaves of pumpkin bread, the pumpkin pancakes that I made (which got rave reviews) and then one more bag for any new pumpkin recipe discovery.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Don't forget to save those pumpkin seeds for roasting! Roasting pumpkin seeds is easy and so satisfying. Here's how:

  1. Wash the seeds (get the sticky stringy pumpkin pulp off)
  2. Dry them (use a paper towel or just let them air dry on a baking sheet)
  3. Once dry, spray them with cooking spray (when I roasted them a couple of years ago, I used oil and they were very oily. This year, I used cooking spray and they came out much better, not so greasy).
  4. Lightly salt them (I used rock salt this time)
  5. Place them on a baking sheet  in a 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes or so.
  6. Enjoy!

They came out much better this year and I probably wolfed most of them down myself! I got about 1.5 cups worth from this year's pumpkin.

Pumpkin Recipes


Specific Recipes

That's the recipe I used but I ended up tweaking it by adding a whole cup of pumpkin rather than what they used. These got rave reviews from my family. I've got several in the family who don't like pancakes, but said these were awesome.

Pumpkin Pancakes

    This is so yum! I made this a few years ago. Don't let my pathetic pumpkin roll picture scare you away. It was so awesome. (And I'm still proud of it because it just had the one tear in it; rolls are a bit tricky) The recipe calls for canned pumpkin but I used the fresh pumpkin.

    Pumpkin Flavored What?

    I thought it would be fun to see how many different pumpkin flavored things we could spot at the stores so as the season goes on, I plan to post more pics, in shaa Allah. This is what we have seen so far:

    More Pumpkin Goodies!

    TJ Homeschooling Pumpkin Pinterest Board