No doubt you are seeing seasonal trends like “pumpkin spice” popping up on menus everywhere – another sign that we’re well into the fall season! Pumpkins can be such a fun seasonal tradition, whether you’re carving them into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween or baking them into a delicious pie! (FYI: Make sure to get your canned pumpkin early this year due to the pumpkin shortage!)
Check out these interesting facts about pumpkins:
- Pumpkins come from the same family as squash and cucumbers. They are also considered fruits.
- Illinois is the top pumpkin producing state, followed by Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. They can grow on every continent except Antarctica.
- The word “pumpkin” first appeared in the fairy tale, Cinderella, in the 17th century.
- Pumpkins are 90% water, low-calorie, and contain fiber, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
- The tradition of carving pumpkins came from the Irish, who first carved turnips and potatoes to “ward off evil spirits.”
Many of us look forward to the assorted flavors of fall which are often very comforting. Hearty ingredients like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and mushrooms, can be made into soups, stews, and casseroles which literally “warm the heart.” Flavors like apple, pear, cranberry, maple, and cinnamon bring back cherished memories of holidays and family gatherings.
Here are some delicious recipes to help you bring the taste of fall into your home:
You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving for some pumpkin pie! This baked French toast uses the same flavors and can be shared with family for breakfast or dessert. Cooking tip: make your own “pumpkin pie spice” by mixing together cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves!
This may not be a pumpkin recipe, but pumpkin and sweet potato are often interchangeable flavors, especially in baking. This savory bread pudding combines Martin’s Potato Bread with other hearty flavors like sweet potato, cheddar cheese, and kale. Try making this for a perfect fall comfort meal!
Fall is not complete without enjoying a warm, seasonal soup while the weather outside cools! This recipe combines canned pumpkin (or you could substitute butternut squash) with sweet and savory flavors and is topped with croutons made with potato bread! For even more seasonal fun, you can also garnish with pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, or sour cream.
This sweet dish includes all the best holiday flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, pumpkin, and pecans! Serve it in individual portions using ramekins or in a single baking dish to share with friends. This would make a perfect holiday party dessert.
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