5 tasty recipes using pumpkins

Pumpkin Dip
• 3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
• 2 teaspoons maple syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 24 apple slices

Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple.

Pumpkin Muffins
• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup canned pumpkin
• 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
• 1/3 cup fat-free milk
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 large egg
• 1 large egg white
• Cooking spray
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine pumpkin and next 6 ingredients (pumpkin through egg white); add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon the batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and brown sugar; sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Ravioli
• 1 cup canned pumpkin
• 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
• 24 wonton wrappers
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup chicken broth
• 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• Chopped parsley

Combine 1 cup pumpkin, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Spoon about 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal.

Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt; cook 7 minutes, and drain in a colander.

Place 1/2 cup broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in pan; bring to a boil.

Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.


Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds
• 1/2 cup butterscotch caramel sauce
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon extract
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 3 cups pumpkin seeds, roasted
• 1 cup almonds, crushed

Lightly coat baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large skillet, slowly melt the caramel sauce and sugar. When melted stir in cinnamon extract and cayenne. Continue cooking until mixture reaches a temperature of 310 degrees F. Stir in pumpkin seeds until completely coated. Spread caramelized seeds onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Separate seeds with wooden spoon until cooled.

Cook’s Notes:
Melted sugar is very hot. Please use extreme caution when handling and pouring. Pumpkin seeds may be purchased already roasted. If using the seeds from a jack-o-lantern, rinse and clean seeds. Place on a baking sheet, lightly coated with cooking spray, in a preheated 250 degree F oven. Roast seeds for about 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. The actual seed of the pumpkin is inside the hull. The hull is edible.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
• 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 3 cups canned or packaged vegetable stock, found on soup aisle
• 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
• 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
• 2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (found often on the baking aisle)
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 palm full
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 palm full
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, eyeball it in the palm of your hand
• Coarse salt
• 20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion.

Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

Article courtesy of Beliefnet.com. Beliefnet offers daily inspiration with news articles on faith, religion, politics, health, family entertainment, sustainable living and more.