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5 Pumpkin and Squash Recipes To Warm Up Your Winter

Autumn is here! Which means pumpkin, squash, chestnuts, and all things delicious. I love this warm-up to the Chrissie-season. For me, it's that in-between time that feels grounded and cozy before the end-of-year cRaZiness unfurls. 

Today, I'd like to share with you 5 family-friendly autumn recipes using pumpkin and squash. But before we begin, what's the difference?

 

Botanically speaking, a pumpkin is a type of squash. And interestingly, squash is officially classified as a fruit, not a veggie. Try that little fact on for size the next time the kids moan, "Not vegetables again!" ;-) 

The squash fam is then classified into summer or winter squash, depending on when they're harvested.

The most obvious thing that distinguishes a pumpkin from its squash sisters is its orange skin colour. It also has a stiff spikey stem, and a pumpkin's seeds are edible (and a great example of a healthy fat), whereas the seeds of other squash are not.

 

I find this fascinating. Although they're of the same botanical family, pumpkins and squash have quite different nutritional values. 

Pumpkins have approx. 55% the calories and carbs of, for example, Butternut Squash, but they have only a quarter the fibre.

Butternut squash is also the clear winner when it comes to Vit A, C, E, and calcium levels. They're also much higher in Omega 3's and 6's, compared to pumpkins.

Both are rich in carotenoids, which are the plant pigments that give pumpkin and squash their beautiful bright autumn colour.

But when it comes to looking out for your family and packing the most vitamins into their diet, squash beats pumpkin. And when it comes to shopping for Butternut Squash? The best ones for cooking are heavy for their size. So pick up a few to compare their weight before choosing in-store.

Both pumpkin and squash are sweet-tasting, making them easy to slip on to the family's dinner plates. 

One simple and easy way to prep both pumpkin and squash is to: peel and cut the flesh into cubes, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. And roast in a hot oven for a quick and tasty side dish.

Ready for something a bit more fun? Check out the following 5 family-friendly autumn recipes.

 

 

Looking for a new breakfast idea? Autumn baked pumpkin oatmeal is it!

 

400gm can pumpkin purée (or 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin purée made yourself by roasting pumpkin or squash of your choice and then blending it by hand or in a food processor)

  • 3 cups oats
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Greek Yogurt to serve

 

**If using canned pumpkin, at least 30 minutes before making the oatmeal (and up to the day before), drain the pumpkin puree using a sieve lined with cheesecloth. 

  1.  Grease a 28x18cm rectangular pan. Preheat oven to 175 degrees. 
  2.  Stir all dry ingredients together. Put 3/4 cup strained pumpkin in another bowl. Add milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla to the pumpkin and whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir both mixtures together until combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until oatmeal is firm.
  4. Cut into pieces and serve warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH SIMPLE BUT FANCY

 

One of the quickest, easiest, and most fun, family-friendly squash recipes is made with a squash called the Spaghetti Squash. Aptly named because it cooks into long, thin spaghetti-like strands. Its season is quite short, though, so stock up on this one while you can.

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • ¼ cup of your fave cheese, grated (think Pecorino or Parmesan)
  • 2 tablespoons of your fave fresh herb (this time of year, I love sage)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Put the squash, cut side down on a baking tray or into a baking dish, and bake for 50 mins.
  3. Remove from the oven and scrape the flesh from the squash's skin using a fork and place in a bowl. 
  4. Add the nuts, cheese, herb, butter, salt, and pepper. Toss until well combined and serve immediately – by itself for big and young kids alike, or as a side, depending on their age.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 400gm can pumpkin purée (or 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin purée made yourself by roasting pumpkin or squash of your choice and then blending it by hand or in a food processor)
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, apple, carrot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 10-15 minutes or until veggies are just tender, stirring often. Stir in spices; cook 1 minute.
  3. Whisk broth, coconut milk, and pumpkin into a pot. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until slightly reduced, stirring often.
  4. Add cayenne, if using, plus a pinch of salt. Then, working in batches, blend soup until smooth. Return it to the pot; heat on medium-low until hot. 
  5. Serve with croutons and dollop of sour cream, if desired.

 

 

(Serves 4)

  • 400gm can pumpkin purée (or 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin purée made yourself by roasting pumpkin or squash of your choice and then blending it by hand or in a food processor)
  • 2 eggs, at room temp.
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temp.
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • ¾ cup grated Pecorino 
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 6-8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 500gm spaghetti
  • Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)

  1. Drain pumpkin in a mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth for at least 30mins. Squeeze cheesecloth to release most of the liquid. You should have ½ to ¾ cup drained liquid.
  2. Whisk strained pumpkin, eggs, egg yolks, ½ cup of the Parmesan, all the Pecorino, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towel and reserve the bacon fat from the pan.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve approx. 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta.
  5. Working quickly, whisk ¼ cup hot pasta water into pumpkin/egg mixture. Pour pasta back into hot pasta pot and add pumpkin mixture. Stir for several minutes, adding remaining pasta water as you go, until pasta is well-coated and cheese is melted. The sauce will become thick and creamy.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of the warm reserved bacon fat (if desired) and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Top pasta with the crispy bacon, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, and Italian parsley. Serve immediately.

 

  • 400gm loaf brioche
  • butter, for pan
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 400gm can pumpkin purée (or 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin purée made yourself by roasting pumpkin or squash of your choice and then blending it by hand or in a food processor)
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup bourbon, optional if making fam friendly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • optional ice-cream and/or caramel, for serving

**The day before: Slice bread into 3cm cubes and leave out to dry out. (Or, place bread on baking sheet and bake at low heat for 20 minutes, then let cool.) 

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Butter the baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, yolks, and whole eggs. Add pumpkin, milk, cream, bourbon (if using), vanilla, and spices. Add bread and mix to combine. Let the bread soak for 10 minutes. 
  2. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and bake until custard is set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing. 
  3. Serve with ice-cream and/or caramel. 

And there we go – some delicious sweet and savoury autumn pumpkin and squash recipes for you to try!

 

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