Everyone looks for different ways to save money, and saving on your grocery bill is a big one. Making food from scratch is a great way to save on your food bill. Did you know you can get a minimum of three different recipes from just one small pumpkin? It goes a lot farther than you think it would, and each recipe is extremely inexpensive. If you like using pie pumpkins for basic Halloween decorations, save money by using them in a recipe or two instead of throwing them out.
First thing you’ll need to do is cook the pie pumpkin (and do be sure you’re using a pie pumpkin – larger pumpkins CAN be used, but they are a lot more difficult to work with). To do this, you’ll need to turn the pumpkin on its side, and cut it in half. Take out all the guts and seeds. The guts you can pitch, but the seeds you’ll need later, so be sure to set them aside. In a large baking dish, place your pumpkin in a half inch of water, cut side down and shell up. Basically you’ll be steaming the pumpkin within itself. Bake for about an hour at 325 degrees. When cooked, you’ll scoop the “meat” out of the pumpkin shell and toss the rest.
Once you have your cooked pumpkin, you can use it in place of canned pumpkin in any recipe you may have already. This would include recipes such as those for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, etc. In case you don’t already have a few recipes that use pumpkin, here are three recipes which you can use, all with the same pumpkin even.
Recipe #1 – Pumpkin Pancakes (Breakfast)
Making pancakes from scratch may seem like a hassle, but they’re actually very easy and not time consuming in the least.
You will need:
• 2 Cups Biscuit or Baking mix (such as Bisquick)
• 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
• 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
• 2 Eggs
• 1 can (12oz) Evaporated Milk
• ½ Cup Pumpkin
• 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
• 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
In one bowl, combine baking mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, mix eggs, milk, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Mix well, preferably with a hand mixer or blender. Stir in dry ingredients and blend well.
Pour batter onto a greased hot griddle or pan, 1/3 cups at a time. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancake, usually in 2-3 minutes. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Repeat until batter is gone.
This recipe makes about a dozen pancakes.
Recipe #2 – Pumpkin Seeds (Snack)
This particular recipe has no rules. It’s all of a matter of taste preference, following a few basic suggestions.
First, remove all strings and guts from your pumpkin seeds. Wash them off, and pat-dry with a paper towel. Grease a baking sheet, and set oven to 400 degrees. Spread pumpkin seeds across the pan in one layer. Using butter cooking spray or melted butter, coat the seeds well. Sprinkle with salt or garlic salt, depending on your taste. Bake pumpkin seeds for 10 to 15 minutes, or until seeds are golden brown. Keep an eye on these so they aren’t over cooked!
The fun part of this recipe is the experimenting you can do. Try different seasonings, or season your butter before coating.
Recipe #3 – Homemade Pumpkin Pie (Dessert)
Nothing store bought could ever compare to a homemade pumpkin pie. This is a very easy, absolutely delicious pumpkin pie recipe.
• 3 Cups Pumpkin
• 4 Eggs, Beaten
• 1 ¼ White Sugar
• ½ Brown Sugar, loosely packed
• 2 ½ Teaspoons Cinnamon
• 1 Teaspoon Allspice (or nutmeg)
• ½ Teaspoon Cloves
• 1 Can (12oz) Evaporated Milk
• 2 Pastry Shells (regular size, not large)
Beat together all ingredients together in a large bowl with hand mixer. Bake for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. To check if it’s done, stick a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake for a few more minutes until clean.
There you go – three easy and inexpensive recipes! Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you may be able to get a few more recipes out of it other than the ones stated. Happy baking!