Fall has arrived! It’s beautiful sunsets, the vivid colours of the trees, and… the pumpkin we were all waiting for! Its bright colour attracts our attention, so let yourself be tempted !
In Switzerland, we can consume pumpkin from September to March. It can be stored for several months if you place it in a dry and cool place, such as your cellar for example. Seven months… this should be enough to fully discover this vegetable!
Consuming pumpkin has many advantages ! Indeed, is a source of vitamins A, K, C and B6 that strengthen our immune system. It is also rich in antioxidants.
According to Swiss Milk, there are more than 800 varieties, all of them in different colours, sizes and consistencies, 500 of which are edible. You didn’t know that, did you?
Among all these species, some are cultivated with a lot of passion and respect for nature at the Domaine of the Biolettes. This 20 acres farm in the center of the canton of Vaud is 100% organic for more than 30 years ! Mr. and Mrs. Roch are therefore a pioneering couple in the field of biol agriculture. All of their products are labelled Bourgeon Suisse, so are the pumpkins you can find on Farmy.
Gilles Roch and his wife Pascale are managing this farm and take care not only of their products but also of the landscape. By planting fruit trees and natural hedges between fields and along the roadsides, they have created natural habitats for local wildlife. They also installed many nesting boxes for local birds.
But… what do I do with my pumpkin ?
1) The classic one :
Pumpkin soup is a grand classic. The Ahead of Thyme offers, among others, a recipe for the traditional pumpkin soup with a touch of curry powder and coconut. It is of course possible to make pumpkin soup with cumin, paprika, ginger, cloves, saffron or chilli pepper. Their flavours blend well with the taste of pumpkin.
2) For the dessert lovers:
There is of course the famous American Pumpkin Pie, traditionally served on Thanksgiving.
For more originality, what do you think of adding a bit of chocolate to pumpkin? It may sounds strange, but squash has the advantage of bringing an unexpected softness to cakes. Here is a recipe for chocolate and pumpkin cake. The choice is yours !
3) A little thirsty ?
We didn’t think that was possible, but pumpkin will not stop surprising us. These two recipes are taken from the blog «Eat with Johanie», which we know well. This dietician stands out by offering gourmet recipes on her blog. Feel free to visit it, her other creations look delicious!
Here are her original and surprising recipes for drinks (a cold and a hot one) made with pumpkin:
4) Trick or treat ?
Of course, Halloween gives us the opportunity to give our pumpkin a second life ! Internet is full of tutorials to make pumpkins scarier than each other. Just add a candle inside and you’re done!
A little history about Halloween
But why a pumpkin? And to whom do we owe this tradition? There are different explanations. After reading a couple of legends and beliefs, here is the version that, in my opinion, is the most plausible. On the contrary to popular belief, this religious celebration has European roots (Scotland and Ireland) and has been celebrated for thousands of years (there has been a trace of it for about 2500 years). Halloween comes from “All Hallows Eve” which means “The Vigil of All Saints”.
At that time, the peoples of Scotland, Ireland and Wales celebrated the feast of Samain. Under the pressure of the Catholic Church, which did not appreciate pagan rituals, Samain’s feast day was replaced by All Hallows. The holidays mixed and the name Halloween appeared. “What about the pumpkin in all this? “, you may say. During the Famine in Ireland, many traveled to America, taking their traditions with them. It was a tradition to place a candle in a turnip, beet or potato to guide the dead who came to visit the living ones on October 31. Immigrants continued their tradition with the most common vegetable in America : pumpkin.
5) The pumpkin and the trend of “No Food Waste”:
Once you have emptied your pumpkin, don’t throw the seeds away ! They are rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals, antioxidants, magnesium and fibres. They help to prevent cramps and are a recognized help in case of urinary infection. It also helps in case of tiredness, stress and anxiety. You can consume them toasted (15-20 min in the oven preheated to 200°C, turn the seeds over halfway through the cooking process), plain or with a few spices to suit your taste (cinnamon for example). You can also incorporate them into your salad or yogurt.
Our little tip:
If you are starting to make a stuffed pumpkin or soup, carefully empty your squash by cutting only the top. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, you will get either a soup tureen or individual bowls for each of your guests. A presentation that opens the appetite and… you wont have that many dishes to clean at the end of the dinner 😉
How to store squash?
Some pumpkins can easily weigh more than 10kg, so here’s how to store them if (you never know) you don’t have enough appetite to eat a whole pumpkin at once.
Freezing a squash in small pieces:
Normally, a squash is frozen when it is raw. Be careful to wash it well, peel it and remove the seeds and their fibres or you risk food poisoning. Dice or slice it and let it dry for a few minutes before packing it in an plastic bag. You can also steam it to make it softer before freezing.
Freeze your squash as a soup:
Pour your puree or soup into a previously sterilised jar with a tightly sealed lid. Once poured into the jar, let it cool down before placing the jar in your freezer. This way, you can keep your mashed potatoes for 8 months. If you added a little milk or cream prior to freezing the mixture, you will not be able to keep it for more than 6 weeks.
We wish you a very fine tasting and a lot of pleasure during this beautiful season of the… pumpkin!