It’s that time of year again - the leaves are changing, the air’s getting a little cooler, and we can smell pumpkin spice in every cafe that we step in.
We adore the rich, sweet and earthy flavour of pumpkin. For so many of us, it’s become totally synonymous with Autumn.
In fact, our favourite bright orange veg has a HUGE hold on the season’s food and drink market. Did you know that America’s processed pumpkin market alone has been valued at $1.34 billion.
Since the start of the decade, we’ve all gone crazy for the flavour, spending around $600 million on pumpkin spice flavoured food and drink every Autumn.
But where did it all begin? When did pumpkin spice become such an iconic Autumn staple?
Well, we wanted to find some answers.
So, we’ve used this blog post to delve a little deeper into the world of pumpkin cooking, and discovered some intriguing facts about the moments where pumpkins and Autumn recipes first came together.
Then, to celebrate the start of Autumn (and since we’ve waited 9 months for it), we’ve shared our favourite pumpkin recipes with you.
It’s a blog filled with pumpkin-inspiration. Tee hee.
When did pumpkins become such an iconic Autumn cooking ingredient?
It may have become a popular trend in recent years, but you’d be mistaken if you thought that pumpkins haven’t been on the culinary stage for long.
They’re native to the Northeast of Mexico and the South of the U.S., and it is believed that they were used in cooking as far back 7,500 BC, making them one of the first plants to be domesticated in the world.
Pumpkins have been a much-loved ingredient for many reasons, not just their taste.
For instance, did you know that you can eat every single element of the pumpkin? As well as the flesh and seeds, humans can safely eat the plant’s skin, flowers, stem and leaves, too.
In fact, there’s a lot to learn about pumpkins…
5 bizarre pumpkin facts
- Pumpkins have been grown on our planet for a staggering 7,000 years.
- The first time that they were named ‘pumpkins’ was actually in Cinderella
- Pumpkins are grown in every single continent (other than Antarctica)
- 80% of America’s entire pumpkin crop is ripe in October alone
- America produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins every single year
Now, it’s time to put that passion to good use. We can’t wait to get stuck into cooking up some delicious meals, which showcase the wonderful flavour of the humble pumpkin.
Our DIY Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe
We couldn’t do a pumpkin-themed blog without including a recipe for a pumpkin spiced latte.
So, here’s our take on the famous pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (it tastes just as divine as the real thing, even if we do say so ourselves).
- Sugar, 1 tbsp
- Pumpkin puree, 2 tbsp
- Pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp
- Strong coffee, 115ml
- Milk, 115ml
- Use your Smarter Coffee machine to brew the coffee at a medium-strength.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large saucepan, set on a medium heat.
- Stir well, until the mixture starts to simmer.
- Once heated, pour into a large mug. Top with whipped cream and a final pinch of pumpkin pie spice.
Here are our best Fall recipes to treat the family
- Olive oil, a good glug
- Onions, 3, chopped
- Carrots, 2 large, chopped
- Celery, 2 sticks, chopped
- Garlic, 4 cloves, chopped
- Pumpkin, 1kg (after peeling), chopped
- Chicken stock 1.4 litres
- Double cream 100ml
- Nutmeg, 1 tsp
- Fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the olive oil, in a large pan. Cook for around 10 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin to the pan. Fry for a further 10 minutes.
- Pour the stock into the pan. Simmer on a low heat for around 30 minutes (or until the pumpkin is soft).
- Stir in the cream, then cook on a low heat for 3 more minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz well. To finish, sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg over each bowl.
- Good quality prawns, 20-30, peeled
- Chilli powder, 2 tsp
- Turmeric, 3 tsp
- Lemon, 1, juiced
- Vegetable oil, a good glug
- Pumpkin, 800g, peeled and chopped
- Good quality curry paste, 3 tbsp
- Shallots 3, chopped
- Tomatoes, 3, chopped
- Ginger, 3 tsp
- Garlic, 3 cloves, chopped
- Green chilli, 1, deseeded and finely chopped
- Garam masala ½ tsp
- Cumin, 3 tsp
- Full-fat coconut milk 400ml
- Spinach 150g, washed
- Coriander leaves, a handful
- Steamed basmati to serve
- In a large bowl, combine the prawns, chilli powder, turmeric, lemon juice and oil. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Sprinkle the cumin over the pumpkin slices, along with a drizzle of oil. Roast in a hot oven for around 30 minutes.
- In a large pan, fry the shallot in oil for 5 minutes. Then, add in the curry paste and stir well. Add in the remaining spices and tomatoes. Cook for a further 3 minutes, before stirring in the spinach and coconut milk.
- Once the pumpkin is soft, add it to the pan and stir well. Add in the prawns, and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Serve with basmati rice and top with coriander leaves.
- Pumpkin, 800g (after peeling)
- Double cream, 150ml
- Nutmeg, ½ tsp
- Olive oil, a good glug
- Salted butter, 1 tbsp
- Onion, 1 small, finely chopped
- Garlic, 4 cloves, finely chopped
- Gnocchi, 1 pack
- Grated parmesan, 4 tbsp
- Amaretti biscuits, 3
- Rocket, 2 generous handfuls
- Roast the pumpkin in a hot oven for half an hour, or until it's really soft and tender.
- Blitz the pumpkin with the cream and nutmeg in a blender until smooth.
- Fry the onion and garlic with the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Cook on a low heat until the onions soften.
- Cook the gnocchi following the packet’s instructions.
- Stir the pumpkin mixture into the pan with the onions, followed by the parmesan.
- Once the gnocchi is cooked, drain the pan, then stir into the sauce.
- Serve in two bowls. Crumble the amaretti biscuits on top and finish with a handful of rocket.
- Pre-made shortcrust pastry 500g
- Cinnamon, 2 tsp
- Pumpkin, 800g (after peeling), chopped
- Single cream, 140ml
- Light muscovado sugar, 150g
- Nutmeg, 1 tsp
- Ground ginger, 1 tsp
- Eggs, 3
- Butter 25g, melted
- Roll the pastry thinly, then lay it into a circular 20cm tart tin. Trim the edges, then sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Leave in the fridge to chill.
- In a large saucepan on a low heat, cook the pumpkin, single cream, sugar, nutmeg and ginger. Cook until the pumpkin is tender (this should take around 25 minutes). Take the pumpkin off the heat, then blitz it in a blender until smooth.
- Heat your oven to 180°C. Blind bake the pastry (by lining with greaseproof paper then topping with baking beans or rice) for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for 5 more minutes.
- Now that your pumpkin puree has cooled, stir in the eggs and melted butter. Pour this mixture into the tart case.
- Bake your pie for 30-40 minutes in the oven.
And there you have it, enough pumpkin recipes to last you for the entire season.
If you’re excited to start brewing fresh, warm pumpkin spice lattes at home, the Smarter Coffee machine will be your helping hand all Autumn long.
Visit the Smarter online shop to get yours, so you’re all set for when the leaves start falling.