Monday, June 17, 2024

Thanks for the memories! May 2010-March 2020

Get the local dirt in our northwest corner • Regrowing in 2023!

Plenty of pumpkin for the autumn soul

Sep 16th, 2010 | Category: Cooking

Pumpkins. Starting in late September and right on through the holidays, this one main ingredient passes through our kitchen more than any other. And in using this one main ingredient, there is one baked good that goes in and out of our oven more than any other: pumpkin-chocolate chip bread. (Yes, it’s fattening, but yes it’s good, and yes, it can be easily altered for a healthier recipe if desire.)
If you know me, you know I like to bake it or make it, and give it, especially with pumpkin. Cheesecake, cookies, breads, butter, drinks, soup, seeds. The list goes on. And in my world, if the original recipe called for 12 ounces of pumpkin, the altered recipe probably nearly doubled it. I simply cannot deny my love of pumpkin.
The pumpkin-chocolate chip bread recipe at left can be adjusted to be lower in fat or vegan. For a low-fat recipe, reduce or omit the oil and instead use applesauce, mix in some whole wheat flour in place of white flour, and decrease or omit the chocolate chips. This lower-fat spiced bread still makes for an excellent dessert bread. For vegan-style, use an egg substitute.
During one recent holiday, a family member was given 12 mini loafs, ready and wrapped for the freezer. The 12 loaves were for the year – one loaf each month.
The pumpkin soup recipe is always nice for a brisk autumn evening. The recipe at right is my base recipe, however you can thin or thicken as needed by using all milk, all cream, or adding some cornstarch. If you prefer a thicker soup, try all cream with a little cornstarch. As for the flavors, I always enjoy the a richer, pumpkin flavor, so I add more pumpkin spice. If you prefer something with a bigger kick, add more pepper.
A roasted beet salad makes a wonderful side dish, as well as fresh-baked wheat bread, cut into wedges to dip into the soup. A nice way to present the soup is to hollow out small sugar pumpkins and use them as serving bowls.
With pumpkins comes pumpkin carving, and with carving, comes seeds. Roasting seeds is a favorite fall family activity, and easy to do.
Take the pumpkin seeds from a freshly cut/carved pumpkin and rinse thoroughly. Place the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet that is lightly oiled or greased. Using the desired amount of salt, sprinkle over seeds and bake at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. (For a different taste, try adding cinnamon, garlic salt or pumpkin pie spice.) Stir after 10 minutes, then remove from heat and cool. Any extra seeds can be stored in an air-tight container.

Enjoy the flavors of the fall season. Friends, may the pumpkin bread be with you.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread

3 cups white sugar
22 oz canned pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans. Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla. Blend well. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, except chocolate chips. Bring wet and dry mixtures together, fold in chocolate chips. Place mixture into loaf pans and bake for 60-65 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
* For a healthier recipe, replace oil with applesauce and 1 cup of white flour with wheat, and omit the chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
14.5 ounces chicken broth (2 cans)
2 cups potatoes, sliced and peeled
2 cups pumpkin (canned or cooked)
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Using a large saucepan, saute onion in butter and sugar until tender. Add the broth, potatoes and pumpkin, and cook about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool. using a food processor or blender, puree half of the mixture at a time until smooth, then return to the pan on low-medium heat. Add the spices, salt, milk and half and half and heat through. (You can also use just milk or all half and half depending on your desired consistency.)

Pumpkin Pancakes with Whipped Cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brown sugar

For whipped cream (optional):

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
handful chopped hazelnuts

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, soda, powder, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla and brown sugar. Blend together until just combined, do not over mix. For some, the batter may be too lumpy or too thick; if so, add a little buttermilk to get desired consistency. On a medium-hot non-stick griddle, cook pancakes. Flip over when bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and edges appear cooked and dry.
In a separate bowl (that has been chilled), add the whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Beat with a mixer on medium-high until soft peaks form. Drizzle over pancakes and top with hazelnuts to desired amount.

Becca Schwarz Cole is the editor of Grow Northwest magazine. As you can tell, she loves pumpkin.

Leave a Comment