From The Chopping Block: Push Past Pie with Pumpkin

We’ve been cooking with pumpkin forever, it seems. In fact, did you know that there’s a version of Pumpkin Pie (called “Pompkin”) in America’s very first cookbook: Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery published in 1796? Check out the free version online, but you’ll probably want to skip the recipes we no longer eat such as “To Dress a Turtle”, “Tongue Pie”, and “Potato Pudding.”

Flash forward to 2018, and we bet there will be a pumpkin pie on your holiday table. But why do we want until Thanksgiving to enjoy this fruit? And why do we always resort to the custardy classic? The pumpkin is, above all, a healthy, hearty squash that is full of flavor and very versatile.

Here are some reasons to enjoy pumpkin in ways other than just pie.

1: Pumpkin is full of fiber, vitamin A, antioxidants, and potassium. It’s a power food!

Skip the pumpkin spice latte and opt instead for a pumpkin smoothie to start out your morning. Follow your favorite smoothie recipe, then add in a scoop of pumpkin and some cinnamon for a fall twist. We love Greek yogurt, ginger, pumpkin, cinnamon and oat milk. Delicious and nutritious!

2: Pumpkin adds pizzazz to your Thanksgiving table.

Pumpkins can go beyond being just an ingredient. In this video, watch The Chopping Block’s Owner/Chef Shelley Young make a stunning centerpiece that stars a gorgeous French pumpkin that doubles as its own serving dish.


3: Pumpkin can replace oils and fats in baked goods.

It’s pumpkin everything season, so why not play the substitution game with your favorite cake, muffin, or even pancake recipe? Sub in a cup of pumpkin for a cup of vegetable oil in your favorite recipes and lighten them up while also skipping some fat and calories! Favorites for this experiment include brownies and vanilla cake mix. Pop some pumpkin in there and add some cinnamon. Before you know it, you’ve got a new and oh-so-improved favorite.

The Chopping Block’s hands-on class, The Great Pumpkin will give you even more ideas, so sign up for an upcoming session today:

Wednesday, October 31 6:30pm Lincoln Square

Sunday, November 18 11am Merchandise Mart

And if you need some help with that Pumpkin Pie for your table, let our chefs do the baking for you. The Chopping Block offers our classic Pumpkin Pie and famous cast-iron skillet Apple Pie for pickup at both locations on Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. Order online now to reserve your pies.  

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