With Halloween and Thanksgiving right around the corner, we felt it would be a good time to include some tips on using pumpkins in your food truck recipes in our Tip of the Day section.
- Choose smaller pumpkins for cooking. Sugar pumpkins are usually labeled by the market for cooking purposes as opposed to those used for decorating or Jack-o’-lanterns.
- Pumpkin seeds, known as pepitas, are often roasted and added as a less expensive alternative to pine nuts in recipes.
- Pumpkin seeds can be toasted on a cookie sheet in the oven at a low temperature. Be sure to stir them often and watch for burning. Some prefer to soak the seeds in salt water before toasting.
- Another by-product, pumpkin seed oil, is normally mixed with other oils for cooking, salad dressings and other uses due to its strong flavor and color.
- Try cooked mashed pumpkin in cake and muffin recipes for added moisture and texture.
- Higher temperatures cause pumpkin flesh to become stringy. If you end up with a stringy pumpkin, you can beat the pulp with an electric mixer on high speed for ten seconds and then switch to low speed for sixty seconds. The strings should wrap around the beaters for easy removal.
- Homemade pureed pumpkin for pies is usually much thinner in texture than canned. To alleviate excess moisture, bake rather than steam or boil the pumpkin. Mash and drain through cheesecloth before using in pies.