Today’s post is devoted to our favorite fall vegetable: the pumpkin. If you are a foodie and do have a different fall favorite, I won’t judge. Just tell me which one it is in the comments and I’ll consider doing a post on this one too. But even you would have to admit that in the months of September, Oktober and November the whole food and health blog world gets all pumpkin-crazy, and don’t let me even start with tumblr, pinterest or instagram.
When I found my first kabocha pumpkin in a German supermarket yesterday and noticed that it’s named differently I started informing myself about pumpkin sorts and thought this would be an interesting topic for a post. Here come my favorite pumpkin sorts (in no special order, I love them all for different reasons) and some recipe recommendations for each of them:
Let’s start with our dark green fella, since I already mentioned it above. The name “kabocha” describes in Japan any kind of winter squash. The kabocha has a “deep green skin with some celadon-to-white stripes and an intense yellow-orange color on the inside.” (source: Wikipedia)
If you live in Germany and search for a kabocha you will only find it named after the special variety, two of them are the Delica or Sweet Mama (source: Trainong Seeds). Easiest way to recognise a kabocha is the dark green skin, so just look out for that.
Easiest thing to do with the kabocha is roasting it. In the picture above you see yesterdays lunch. I simply preheated the oven to 350°C, cut thick slices off the pumpkin and roasted them for 15-20 minutes. It tasted amazing without any additions, but I also liked dipping it in ayvar (a hot bell pepper sauce).
- Christine’s Roasted Garlic Kabocha
- Martha Stewart’s Chicken and Rice with Kabocha Squash
- Lindsay’s Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry
- Rachael’s Simmered Kabocha Squash
The hokkaido squash, also known as red kuri squash, has a thick skin and orange color. “Inside the hard outer skin there is a firm flesh that provides a very delicate and mellow chestnut-like flavor.” (source: wikipedia) It can be used in various recipes, and is my pumpkin of choice to make pumpkin puree, which sadly isn’t sold in cans in German grocery stores.
a few recipes how to use pumpkin puree:
- My Baked Pumpkin Pie Oats
- Sarah’s Pumpkin Spice Cake with Coconut Vanilla Icing
- My Pumpkin Carrot Pizza Dough (*can also be made with pumpkin puree only)
- Ashley’s Pumpkin Deep Dish Pizza
- My Healthy Mac’n’Cheese
- Kimberly Ann’s Pumpkin Spice Pull Apart Bread
Of course you can roast the hokkaido the same way as the kabocha, or use it in soups or stews.
The butternut squash is also a winter squash (as well as the kabocha and hokkaido). Its yellow skin and orange flesh have a nutty, sweet taste. It’s a lighter squash, with less calories then the kabocha or hokkaido and therefore I tend to see it more as a vegetable than a carb-side-dish.
You can also roast it, which I love to do with the bottom part. In the picture above I coated it with coconut oil, sprinkled some cinnamon on top and filled it with cottage cheese and honey. But there is a lot more what you can do with this funny formed fella.
- Andie’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- My Butternut Squash Pasta
- The Kitchn’s Pasta with Butternut Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts
- My Raw Buckwheat Butternut Porridge
- Angela’s Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos
Also called “squaghetti”, did you know that? I didn’t. Thanks wiki! And it’s a winter squash again – I should probably have chosen another title for this post. But, whatever, it’s all “pumpkin” to me ; excuse me, I’m German, we don’t make a difference between pumpkin and squash, just between the hundred varieties of kabocha. Back to the topic: the squaghettis flesh is solid when raw, but when cooked you can tear it appart with a fork and will have squash-ribbons looking like angle hair pasta. Why isn’t it called squangle hair then, I wonder. Excuse me, my concentration is drifting, I should really come to the end of this post.
Again, you can do a lot of stuff with squaghetti/squangel hair. I often enjoy it like pasta, topped with sauce or a piece of fried fish. yum! Nevertheless here I have a few more recipes for you, which you should try this fall:
- Juli’s Spaghetti Squash Crusted Quiche
- or Sausage Spaghetti Squash Bake
- Angela’s Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash
- Chris’ Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
- Jenny’s Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake
Hope you are inspired to switch things up in your own pumpkin-love-story! I will definitely fill my tummy with a lot of these exciting recipes over the next weeks.