Straight up, gourds make us giddy. Not only are they everything a comforting fall meal should be, they’re also packed with nutrients, locally grown (in Canada, anyway) and yummy. What most people don’t know is that they are incredibly versatile. To prove it, here are 5 fab ways to gorge offgorgeous gourds.
Soup it Up! We’ve got no complaints about a classic & creamy pumpkin soup spiced with ginger or peanut or coconut-curry but the creativity shouldn’t stop there. Squashes can be diced and added to chili, can make a miso soup more hardy or take your lentil stew to another plane. Next time you’re making a soup ask yourself, would some squash make this better? Hint: The answer is usually yes.
Sweet Stuff. What makes the gourd family so remarkable is its ability to transition from savoury to sweet with total ease. Sure, there’s the good, ol’ pumpkin pie but that’s just the beginning. Try adding cubes of pumpkin to a bread pudding, mashed acorn squash into a creme brule or stir some maple-sweetened red curry squash into your vanilla ice cream. Are you salivating yet? We are.
Good Guts. Everybody does it – scoop out the innards of a gourd and dump them. Next time you’re gutting a pumpkin, reconsider trashing the seeds because they’re tiny zinc bombs that will also boost your immune system. Besides, roasting them is so easy. Just free the seeds from the goo, rinse them (not too much or you’ll lose the delicious pumpkin-y flavour), toss them in a bit of olive oil (add salt and hot spices if you like) and put them in the oven at 350 until they start to crack and snap. Feel free to give them a toss everyonce in a while. Let cool and snack away. You’ll never give up the guts again.
Start Right. You might not think of squash as breakfast food but, well, why not? It’s got the carbs to get you going and the flavour to put a smile on your face. Try it in your porridge or blend it into your pancake or muffin mix. If you prefer a savoury start to your day, cube and roast some Blue Hubbard squash the night before, then in the morning serve them up instead of hash browns or toss them right into a hearty scramble. Look out day, here we come.
Mix and Match. Squash is promiscuous; it’ll jump into a dish with just about anything. And why not when it tastes so good? Some of our favourite pairings include, all types of nuts (blend into a soup or toss into a casserole), proteins of any kind, fruit (apples, pears, dried apricots and cranberries are all fab), and, of course, other veggies. We’re partial to a little spaghetti squash tossed with roasted bell peppers and garlic, seasoned with maple syrup and hot sauce. Oh, great, now we’ve drooled on the keyboard.
These 5 ideas prove that gourds aren’t just for festive decoration or carving up to scare trick-or-treaters.
And we know, there are so many more great ways to enjoy them so send us your favourites. How do you prefer your pumpkin?