Jack O Lantern Leftovers - By Tammy Rome

You've carved that pumpkin into a gruesome Jack-O-Lantern and now you have a gooey clump of orange flesh in a bowl on your kitchen counter. Please don't tell me you already sent it down the garbage disposal! You're probably wondering, "Why, I can't do anything with it?"

Ah, but that's where you're wrong! Anything you can make with canned pumpkin you can make healthier with fresh pumpkin. Just substitute 2 cups of fresh pumpkin for any recipe calling for a 16-ounce can of pumpkin. Just in case you're stumped, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Baked Pumpkin Seeds

• Remove pulp and string, then rinse the seeds well.
• Place in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet
• Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until seeds are dry and light brown (for crispier seeds, bake 30-40 minutes)
• Salt to taste (also great without salt)
• Use as a healthy kid snack or stain with food coloring and use to decorate jack-o-lanterns, costumes, other treats, etc. Your imagination is your only limit!

Pumpkin Fruit RollUps

• Chop pumpkin and cook in saucepan until soft. Use as little water as possible. Puree in blender or food processor until the consistency of thick applesauce.
• Add 1/2 cup honey and 12 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to mixture. Mix well.
• Spread puree on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper (tape wax paper down so it won't curl over the pumpkin), leaving a 1-2 inch border around the edge.
• Preheat oven to 275 degrees F and bake for 30-35 minutes. Turn off oven and leave door closed, letting the pumpkin dry 8-10 hours.
• When cooled to the touch, roll up and cut into 1-inch wide strips. Seal in Ziplock  bags and serve as a yummy, inexpensive alternative to commercial Fruit RollUps!
• OR leave flat and use Halloween-shaped cookie cutters to cut into fun holiday shapes.

Tammy's Famous Pumpkin Pie

(a blend of the best from my mother and my mother-in-law, and ALWAYS the first pie gone at any potluck)

2 eggs
2 cups fresh pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4tsp. cloves
12 oz. evaporated milk

*Spices are best if freshly ground rather than store-bought.*

Pour into Flaky Pie Crust. Heat oven to 425 degrees F, bake 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-50 minutes. Pie is done when knife is inserted into the middle of pie and comes out clean.

Flaky Pie Crust
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. shortening (Crisco® Butter-Flavored is my personal favorite)
1 cup flour (use organic or Hogsdon Mill® for best results)
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 tbsp. cold water

Blend shortening, flour and salt together. Add cold water and mix well with CLEAN hands-utensils just don't do as well. Roll dough out with rolling pin (well-covered in flour) on a flat, floured surface.

TIP: a cold rolling pin works best, so I keep mine refrigerated at all times.

Place Pyrex glass pie pan on top of dough and then turn both over at the same time. Pat into place. Pinch off excess dough, then pinched dough all around pan edge for a "fluted" look (keeps you from having a thick, heavy crust on the edges). Do not bake crust alone unless using for chocolate, lemon-meringue, etc.

To bake, use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the crust, heat oven to 475 degrees F and bake 8-10 minutes.

Have a happy, healthy and safe Halloween!

-Tammy Rome is the owner of Healthy Instinct

-Article Courtesy of The Family Corner


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