Turn squash and pumpkin harvest into tasty meals

Harvest often brings the thrill of finding a big pumpkin or more spaghetti squash hidden under the vines. Last year, mutant spaghetti squash were discovered from planting their seeds beside buttercup squash.

Buttercup squash are round with a dark green skin and dark orange, dry, almost potato-like texture pulp when cooked. Some of the spaghetti squash had a darker, drier flesh with firmer spaghetti-like threads.

I enjoyed the mutant spaghetti squash in the following soup recipe, passed to me from my friend, Jennifer Leo.

All squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash and fall zucchini work well in most squash/pumpkin recipes, with a slight adjustment in the liquid depending on how dry or watery the flesh is.

Spaghetti Squash Soup

Serve with biscuits for a hearty meal.

  • 4 c. spaghetti squash, cooked 1 L
  • 4 c. chicken or vegetable broth 1 L
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. celery salt 5 mL
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. smoked sausage, sliced (Italian, chicken or Italian style meatballs or homemade smoked sausage)250 mL

Toss chopped red pepper, onion and garlic cloves with olive oil. Roast in 425 F (220 C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Combine cooked spaghetti squash, roasted vegetables, broth, ginger, celery salt, pepper and sausage. Heat to simmer, cook 10 minutes and serve.

Zucchini Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins

Any squash or pumpkin can be used. It’s a good recipe for using up the large late season zucchini.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. white sugar 250 mL
  • 1 c. brown sugar 250 mL
  • 1 c. oil 250 mL
  • 2 c. zucchini, shredded or cooked or shredded pumpkin or squash 500 mL
  • 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour 625 mL
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats 125 mL
  • 3 – 4 tsp. cinnamon 15 – 20 mL
  • 2 tsp. baking soda 10 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 10 mL
  • 2 c. raisins (optional) 500 mL
  • 1/4 c. rolled oats 60 mL

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In medium bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil and zucchini, then beat thoroughly.
In large bowl, mix flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
Make a well in dry ingredients, pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients, stir just until mixed and lumpy. Add raisins if desired.
Fill oiled muffin tins two-thirds full, sprinkle rolled oats over top of muffins.
Bake in 400 F (200 C) oven for 15 minutes. Makes two dozen and freezes well.

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 c. finely crushed graham crackers 375 mL
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar 75 mL
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted 75 mL
  • 3 8-oz. packages cream cheesesoftened 3×250 g
  • 1 c. pureed pumpkin 250 mL
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar 150 mL
  • 1/4 c. pure maple or maple-flavoured syrup 60 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 7 mL
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. caramel sauce 125 mL

Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C). In medium bowl, combine finely crushed graham crackers, granulated sugar and melted butter. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches (3 cm) up the sides of ungreased nine-inch spring form pan. Bake eight minutes, then cool completely.
Beat eggs in medium bowl, set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese at high speed until smooth. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla, beat mixture until well combined. Fold in eggs.
Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place spring form pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until centre appears nearly set when gently shaken.
Cool in spring form pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small thin knife, loosen crust from sides of spring form pan. Cool 30 minutes more. Remove sides of spring form pan and cool for one hour. Cover and chill for at least four hours or up to 24 hours.
To serve, spoon or drizzle caramel sauce over top of cheesecake.
The cake can be refrigerated for up to two days prior to serving. To freeze, transfer to a plate, place in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze up to one month. Thaw frozen cheesecake in the refrigerator for 24 hours. To serve, top with caramel sauce.

  • Caramel Sauce
    • 1/2 c. whipping cream 125 mL
    • 1/2 c. butter 125 mL
    • 3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar 175 mL
    • 2 tbsp. light coloured corn syrup 30 mL
    • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
    1. In heavy saucepan, stir together whipping cream, butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, reduce heat to medium. Boil gently for additional three minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into a jar, cool 15 minutes, cover and chill for up to two weeks. Stand at room temperature for one hour before serving.
    2. Source: Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook 14th edition.

    Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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