The canned versus fresh pumpkin debate goes as follows: advocates for canned renditions argue that quality is consistent, reliable and readily available, while fresh aficionados side with the advantages of vibrant, bright flavor.
South Florida is home to the Seminole pumpkin, a species native to Florida that's been grown here since pre-Colombian times. But getting a hold of pumpkins typically requires a visit to a farmer's market or growing them yourself. Canned pumpkin, obviously, can be found in most supermarkets, in either organic or non-organic versions.
Whatever the choice may be, we've rounded up six great ways to cook with pumpkin this fall. These recipes all list "pumpkin puree" as an ingredient. Whether it's canned or fresh, it's really just up to you.
This soup comes together quickly, especially since it's made with very simple ingredients: pumpkin puree, chicken stock, shallot, thyme, olive oil and a few spices that are probably already in your pantry. But what sets this soup apart from other renditions is the manner in which the shallots are prepared. The shallots are cooked in a pot for about ten minutes, until they are golden brown and crisp. The soup is then topped with the crisp bits for an extra bite of texture.
Aran Goyoaga is the pastry chef, writer, photographer and food stylist behind the James Beard award-nominated blog, Cannelle et Vanille. Her blog is not only packed with beautiful photographs, it's also home to an array of delectable recipes. These pumpkin and hazelnut doughnuts get a twist from the addition of hazelnut flour and spices. For an extra nutty note, they are coated with a cinnamon-hazelnut sugar after frying.
Blogger Kristin Rosenau crafted this sweet recipe for pumpkin granola bars with chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, sliced almonds, dried cranberries and flaked coconut. While most granola recipes call for vegetable oil, this rendition replaces the fat with apple sauce and pumpkin. These two ingredients bring it all together for a delicious fall breakfast treat.
This recipe for pumpkin risotto by Spoon Fork Bacon is utter decadence. The risotto is stirred and stirred over a stovetop until it is mixed with a creamy pumpkin puree. Then, the dish is topped with seared scallops and candied pancetta for an extra sweet, extra decadent touch.
Deb Perelman is the famous blogger behind the site, Smitten Kitchen. Her recipe for baked pumpkin and sour cream pudding is filled with spices like ginger, cloves and cinnamon. The puddings are naturally gluten-free, although Perelman recommends enjoying them with a gingersnap cookie.
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Heidi Swanson started her blog back in 2003, when she began cooking from the 100 cookbooks in her collection. Now, her site is packed with recipes for what she appropriately calls, natural foods. Swanson's recipes feature whole grains, unrefined oils and natural sweeteners. This pumpkin pie gets a kick from a pie blend spice, and it also happens to be dairy-free.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.