As the leaves turn red and the air gets crispier, it’s time to indulge in autumn’s most loved vegetable—the pumpkin and squash. These versatile vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes from sweet treats to savoury entrées. And let’s not forget about their nutritional benefits, as they are packed with vitamins and fibre. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best pumpkin and squash recipes and facts that you need to know.
1. Benefits of Pumpkin and Squash
Pumpkin and squash are not just delicious—they also offer many health benefits. These vegetables are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and fibre. They’re also low in calories, which makes them great for weight loss. Adding pumpkin and squash to your diet can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. So, don’t be afraid to get creative with these vegetables and use them in a variety of dishes.
2. Sweet Treats
Pumpkin and squash are perfect for making sweet treats like pies, muffins, and cakes. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to traditional baked goods, try replacing the flour with pumpkin or squash puree. You can also use these vegetables to make delicious smoothies and ice cream. For a more decadent dessert, try making pumpkin and squash cheesecake. The options are endless!
3. Savoury Dishes
Pumpkin and squash can also be used in many savoury dishes. From soups to stews and everything in between, these vegetables add a depth of flavour and texture to any dish. One popular recipe is pumpkin and squash chili. This dish combines the warmth of chili with the richness of pumpkin and squash. Another savoury dish is roasted squash and pumpkin risotto. Creamy, rich, and comforting, this dish is an excellent choice for a chilly autumn evening.
4. How to Pick the Perfect Pumpkin or Squash
When it comes to selecting pumpkin and squash, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look for vegetables that are firm with no soft spots or blemishes. The skin should be free of cracks and have a uniform colour. Smaller pumpkins and squash are often sweeter and more tender than larger ones. And if you’re unsure which variety to choose, come in the shop and ask us for suggestions.
5. Storing Your Pumpkin or Squash
Once you’ve picked the perfect pumpkin or squash, it’s essential to store it correctly. These vegetables should be kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you’ve cut into your pumpkin or squash, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. It’s also a good idea to separate your pumpkins and squash from other produce as they release a gas that can cause other vegetables to spoil faster.
In this ultimate guide, we’ve explored the benefits of pumpkin and squash, some of the best sweet and savoury recipes, and how to select and store these versatile vegetables. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a healthy addition to your diet, pumpkins and squash are an excellent choice. So, grab some ingredients, get creative, and enjoy these autumn favourites!
Try out this amazing vegetarian risotto recipe that uses pumpkin and squash:
Pumpkin and Squash Risotto Recipe
- 1 small pumpkin (about 500g)
- 1 butternut squash (about 500g)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- 300g arborio rice
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100g grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Peel the pumpkin and squash, remove the seeds, and cut them into small 2cm cubes.
- Place the pumpkin and squash cubes onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are tender and lightly golden.
- In a large saucepan, sauté the chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat until it becomes translucent. Add the minced garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add the arborio rice to the saucepan, stirring constantly until the rice becomes lightly toasted.
- Begin pouring in the hot vegetable stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until each ladle of stock has been absorbed before adding the next.
- After about 15-20 minutes, the rice should be tender but still have a slight bite to it. At this point, stir in the roasted pumpkin and squash.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the butter and grated Parmesan cheese, mixing until they are fully incorporated. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
- Serve the risotto hot, garnished with fresh parsley.
Enjoy this comforting Pumpkin and Squash Risotto, perfect for a cosy night in!