Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins!

At Prairie Gardens, we are crazy about pumpkins! And fall is the time of year to celebrate this magnificent orange berry (yes – pumpkins are technically berries!) with yummy recipes and fun facts!


Did You Know

  •  Pumpkins were believed to help eliminate freckles.
  • Pumpkins were once used as a remedy for snakebites.
  • A number of facial and anti-wrinkle creams include pumpkins.
  • Pumpkins have zero cholesterol, zero…
  • Pumpkins are low in salt, real low.
  • Pumpkins contain beta-carotene, which helps to reduce certain types of cancer and lowers the risk of heart disease.
  • Pumpkin seeds help to reduce the risk of prostrate cancer.
  • Pumpkins are Nutritious, but many pumpkin recipes are sky high in cholesterol. The reason for this is the recipe calls for several eggs. Try substituting with a cholesterol free substitute or reduce the number or size of eggs you use. We also suggest that those on low salt diets look to use reduced salt or use less of this ingredient.
  • As for pumpkins themselves, they are just plain good for you. They are low in fat, low in calories, loaded with vitamins and just plain good.
  • Here are some stats on what’s in one cup of pumpkin puree:
    Calories: 80
    Carbohydrates: 19 gram
    Cholesterol: 0
    Fat: less than 1 gram
    Potassium: 588 milligrams
    Protein: 2.4 grams
    Vitamin A: 310% of RDA
    Vitamin C: 20% of RDA

Pumpkin Recipes

Mum’s Pumpkin Pie

For each pie:

 1 Sugar Pie Pumpkin (Microwave, cut in half, face down, until tender. Approx.  7min)

1  ½ cup cooked Pumpkin, drained

2  eggs

2  Tbsp. Flour

1  Tbsp. Butter

1  cup sugar

¼  tsp. salt

 ¼ c.  milk

1 ½  tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice  (or ½  tsp. cloves, ¾  tsp. cinnamon and ¾  tsp. ginger)

Put ingredients in food processor or beat until smooth.  Pour into a 9 inch pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until firm.


Pumpkin Skewers
Serves 4


4  Tbsp virgin olive oil

1  garlic clove, crushed

1  Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1  tsp chopped fresh

1 ½  tsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

4  3/4inch thick slices Blue Pumpkin , cut into ½” pieces

8  slices of bacon

18  cherry tomatoes Plums are best

3  Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Mix marinade ingredients together in shallow dish.  Toss the pumpkin pieces and let marinate for ½ hour.  Preheat the barbeque.  Cut the bacon in ½ lengthwise, and then roll them up.  Thread pumpkin, bacon, and tomatoes onto thin metal skewers.  Brush with remaining marinade.  Turn the barbeque down to med/low, then place skewers on the rack and roast 6 – 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender and the bacon is browned. Scatter the Parmesan cheese over the skewers as soon as they are cooked, so that it melts.  Serve on a bed of rice, or salad leaves.


Pumpkin Chutney

2 ½ lb peeled, seeded and diced fresh pie pumpkin

2 onions, chopped fine

1 Tbsp salt, plus 2 tsp

1 lb fresh tomatoes

2/3 c golden raisons

2 cups light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 ½ cups cider vinegar

Mix the pumpkin, onion and 1 Tbsp salt.  Stir well, let stand, for 2 hours.  Drain and rinse.  Add the remaining ingredients into a large stockpot.  Bring slowly to a boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for about 45 minutes until reduced.  Spoon into warm screw-top jars.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.


Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins
Makes a dozen

¾ cup pumpkin puree, fresh

¾ c buttermilk

¼ c oil

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ c cornmeal or fine polenta

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking powder

½ c chopped pecans

1 large egg

Brown sugar to decorate

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Place muffin liners in tin.  Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and add nuts, leave a  depression in the centre.  Beat the egg with pumpkin puree and buttermilk.  Add the oil.  Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir together quickly using a spoon or spatula. Divide into muffin tin, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Scatter a few brown sugar crystals over each muffin, pressing down lightly into the crumb.  Eat warm!