I warn you that this Paleo and gluten-free pumpkin bread is the first of at least four pumpkin recipes I will post over this month, so I hope you love pumpkin !
I should also point out that these are my first attempts at cooking pumpkin in my life... yep I know it sounds weird, but it’s true.
Probably, most of you, when thinking of October, you inevitably think of fall and the end of summer and then Halloween. Thoughts of trick-or-treat, parties and of course pumpkins spring to your mind right ? For me however, I think of other memories and traditions because in Spain we don’t celebrate Halloween. Instead we celebrate All Saints’ day and pumpkin is not included in the Spanish traditional Fall diet plan or are used in food recipes.
We enjoy traditional sweets as Saints bones, roasted chestnuts, baked sweet potatoes and panellets (another catalan sweet which I will share the recipe with you in a post in a few days time). That’s why, buying a proper pumpkin, cleaning it and cooking it, was a big deal for me. So, the day chosen for such important event was last weekend - Saturday in fact. After going to the supermarket and buying a jack-o-lantern medium size pumpkin, I got ready for the carving phase.
I had heard stories about how hard it is cutting the skin of a pumpkin, the large amount of flesh that you can get from a pumpkin to feed your family and even your neighbours, if you desire. Or its peculiar smell which is said to produce sexual arousal in men (seriously, I found it here!) So, after my experience, I can say that all mentioned above is truth... well all except the last point that is ! Once I cut the pumpkin in to two halts, I prepared myself for any sudden attacks from S... but no... instead he left home as fast as he could shouting he could no longer stand “that disgusting smell” - Bugger ! Back to the cooking then.
I’m pretty sure when it comes to cutting a pumpkin “brain is better than brawn”, It would appear I had by accident bought the world’s hardest pumpkin with the thickest skin. Honestly, after cutting it, I decided that I didn’t need to go to the gym for at least a week !
Having then mashed the pumpkin in to a creamy puree, I got down to making the dough for the bread that obviously, is Paleo and gluten-free. To do this, I opted to use 50% almond butter and 50% almond flour. I really love almond butter so at the last moment I though that adding some to the mix in addition to the pumpkin puree would made the dough become a moist with a firm texture ... and it worked !
By this time it was nearly time for lunch. I had been shooting and eating tasting, just a little bit of the pumpkin bread when S decided it should be safe enough for him to come back home. I couldn’t believe I had been cooking and shooting for nearly three hours ! I felt so exhausted but so happy with the result, that we decided to have my lovely and very healthy pumpkin bread with some spreadable cheese and figs for lunch. Soo nice!
How to cook the pumpkin?
Basically there are two methods for cooking pumpkin: Baked or boiled.
If you decide to bake, then place the two halves of the pumpkin, cut side down, in a 190 C / 350 F oven for about an hour until tender. Then, let them cool down and scrape out the tender flesh with a spoon or measurement spoon so it’s sharper.
However, if you decided to boil it as I did, then again cut the pumpkin in to two halves, remove the seeds and then cut it in to further smaller pieces (the hardest task ! and do not cut the pieces too small or they will mash during boiling). Then peel and place them in a saucepan, cover with water and boil for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin cubes.
QUICK TIP! It’s important not to boil the pumpkin too much to retain its vitamins and flavour. Also remember to season with salt after boiling since salt makes water hard.
The next pumpkin recipe will be a delicious pecan and chocolate muffin, so you can’t miss it.
To be honest, I still have half a pumpkin left to make a few more of recipes.
What do you make with leftover pumpkin? And what about all those left over pumpkin seeds?