Let’s get the bad news out of the way: heavy rains this year have cut the pie pumpkin crop by half. Distributors estimate that there will be enough for Thanksgiving pies, but after that, pumpkin will be hard to come by until NEXT FALL. So don’t wait to get your holiday pumpkin supply!
Now for the good news: Abundance has pumpkin on sale! Until Dec. 1, come in and pick up Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Purée for $1.69 each.
Once you’ve laid in a supply for the long, pumpkin-less period ahead, you may realize that you have more pumpkin in your pantry than you need for a pie, so here are some other tasty ideas for that precious pumpkin puree!
A savory hors-d’oeuvre:
Mini Pumpkin Sage Balls
- 3 Tbs. canola oil, plus more for frying sage leaves
- ½ cup finely diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 2 ½ tsp. chopped fresh sage
- ¾ cup pumpkin purée
- ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten, or ¼ cup silken tofu and ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 16 whole sage leaves
Green pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, for dipping:
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Heat oil in small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook 10 minutes, or until light brown, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and chopped sage, and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to bowl.
- Combine pumpkin purée, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, and pepper in bowl with onion mixture. Form into 1 1/2 -inch balls, and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown.
- Pour enough oil in large skillet to coat bottom 1/8 inch. Heat over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add sage leaves in single layer, and fry 20 to 30 seconds, or until brittle but still bright green. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate, and sprinkle with salt. Serve pumpkin balls with sage leaves and green pepper sauce.
A snack for last-minute potlucks:
Easy Pumpkin Pie Dip
- 1 can pumpkin purée
- 1 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt, or 1 package cream cheese)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- 1 tb maple syrup (or to taste, or substitute your favorite sweetener)
Combine all ingredients and whip until fluffy. Keep refrigerated until serving time. Serve with apple slices, sweet potato chips, or whatever you can think of!
A yummy dessert that is not pie:
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter (melted)
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- ½ cup walnuts (chopped)
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl mix together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs (one at a time). Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time and stir until the batter is evenly moistened. Divide the batter in half evenly into 2 separate bowls.
- In one of the bowls blend in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. In the second bowl of batter stir in pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
- Spread ½ of the chocolate batter mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour ½ of the pumpkin batter mixture over that. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer. Drag a kitchen knife or spatula through the layers in a swirling motion creating a marble appearance.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares.
A stick-to-your-ribs cold weather meal:
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey (Substitute TVP or chopped seitan for a vegetarian protein option)
- 1 (14.5oz ) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
- 1 (15oz ) can pumpkin purée
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 ) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.