Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin bread’

Pumpkins are a favorite for indoor and outdoor decorating in the fall. My daughter often saves those in her fall décor for me to salvage and use in many savory dishes. While pumpkins add a festive touch at Halloween and throughout the fall, some of us think more about eating them.

Pumpkins are a member of the winter squash family. Their name evolved from the Ancient Greek word pepon meaning melon. After a few derivations, the English colonies called them pumpkins. Most are deep yellow or orange although recent varieties may range from white to dark green. They are one of the oldest known domesticated plants dating back as early as 7,500 to 5,000 BC. While pumpkins are grown almost worldwide, they are native to northeastern Mexico and the southern United States. Today, Illinois produces about 95 percent of the annual US crop with Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California also top pumpkin-producing states.

Pumpkins are loaded with nutrients. Although 92 percent water, they are great sources of fiber and vitamin A. They also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are thought to help prevent cataracts.

When I don’t receive these colorful decorations from my daughter, I find large selections at cheap, cheap prices after Halloween. Pumpkin can readily be cooked and frozen for many dishes. When they are long gone on the market, pull a package from the freezer and use in many tasty recipes.

Don’t be intimidated by cooking this large vegetable. Wash the outside of the pumpkin thoroughly. We don’t know how many hands and other things have touched it. For best results, follow these guidelines.

  • Preheat oven to 350oF.
  • Place pumpkin, stem end up, on a steady flat surface.
  • With a sharp kitchen knife, cut pumpkin down from the stem all around.
  • Divide pumpkin into halves and scoop out seeds and pulp. Seeds can be saved for toasting.
  • When cleaned, rub inside and cut surfaces lightly with olive oil.
  • Place pieces face down on a roasting pan. Add about ½ to 1 inch of water to the pan to prevent drying.
  • Bake for about 90 minutes or until flesh is tender when pricked with a fork.
  • Remove from oven and cool.
  • Scrape pulp into a bowl. Use a stick blender or regular blender to make flesh smooth and free of lumps.
  • Refrigerate and allow to drain in the container for about two hours. Because of its high-water content, baked food products may have better quality if thoroughly drained. After using the amount desired for your cooking spree, freeze any remaining pumpkin within a few days.
  • Use fresh pumpkin in the same proportion as canned. One 15-ounce purchased can is equivalent to about 1 ¾ cup.

Thanksgiving is noted for its pumpkin pie. Compared to the competition of pecan pie and other calorie laden desserts, it is much lower in calories. We prefer pumpkin pie with such additions as almonds, whipped cream, or other ingredients that add calories. Many, like my daughter, prefer it plain, which makes it much lower in calories than most any holiday dessert .

We enjoy baked pumpkin pie, but the family favorite is my pumpkin bread. I bake loaves and freeze them for future use. However, should we run low, we have a backup of frozen to make more. Below is the recipe.

PUMPKIN BREAD

1 ½                  cup brown sugar

1 ½                  cup white sugar

1                      cup vegetable oil

¾                     cup orange juice

4                      eggs

2                      cups canned or fresh pumpkin

3 ½                  cups all-purpose flour

2                      teaspoons soda

1 ½                  teaspoons salt

1                      teaspoon nutmeg

1                      teaspoon cinnamon

1                      cup raisins

1                      cup pecans, chopped

Combine all dry ingredients. Mix oil and sugars thoroughly, add eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add pumpkin. Beginning with dry ingredients, add alternately with orange juice to pumpkin mixture. Fold in raisins and pecans. Spray loaf pans with cooking spray and fill half full of mixture. Bake at 350o F. for 45 minutes or until done.

Hint: Measure several batches of dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, spices) and place each in a Ziploc or plastic sandwich bag. Close tightly, label, and date. I do this even days or weeks before I plan to bake. Saves so much time when collecting and combining ingredients.

If you haven’t already, try cooking a fresh pumpkin this fall. It’s such a versatile vegetable to include in many recipes, and it’s great heated plain with a little butter and brown sugar or sorghum molasses added. Yummy!

Free happy thanksgiving clipart - Clipartix

Read Full Post »