Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere

Morning Glory’s Pumpkin Festival inspires creative uses for the beloved orange squash.

Gourds at Morning Glory Farm. — Photo by Marnely Murray

The annual Pumpkin Festival at Morning Glory Farm takes place this Saturday, Oct. 17, from 11 am until 3 pm. Not only is this a celebration of all things pumpkin, but it is Morning Glory’s 40th anniversary, so this year’s party is extra-special. As always, the pumpkin festival is a fun-filled event for the entire family: hay rides, face painting, pumpkin carving and painting, squash bowling, beanbag toss, hay maze, and hay jump, and the ever-so-popular trebuchet will be smashing pumpkins throughout the festival — a sight not to be missed! Raffles and guessing games will be offered as well as live music and entertainment. Their “Pumpkin Princess” waits to meet you little ones, so come one and come all!

Now, don’t get me wrong, the activities at the Pumpkin Festival are a lot of fun. But the biggest draw for me? All the pumpkin-inspired foods that are being offered. Past recipes include pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin and grain salad, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin mac and cheese, and so much more. For the foodies out there, make sure to come early and come hungry — you can certainly fit in both breakfast and lunch at the Pumpkin Festival.

If you haven’t picked up a pumpkin or two, we’ve rounded out a list of creative ways you can use the purée in the kitchen. No more buying canned pumpkin purée — here’s how to make your own, and some new uses for it.

To make pumpkin purée:

Preheat oven to 325℉. Cut pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove the seeds (save those for snacking!), and cover each half with foil. Bake for an hour or until tender. Scrape the meat from the shell and purée in blender.

Creative uses for pumpkin purée:

Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake: Add a scoop of purée to your protein shake.

Pumpkin Fruit Smoothie: Add pumpkin purée to your berry smoothie.

Pumpkin Eggnog: Whisk pumpkin purée into the traditional eggnog.

Pumpkin Butter: Cook down pumpkin purée with cider, spices, and sugar until thickened.

Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats: Swirl in pumpkin purée when making.

Pumpkin Hummus: Fold pumpkin purée into your hummus for a balance of sweet and savory flavors.

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes: Adding a scoop of purée to your pancakes makes them healthier and heartier.

Pumpkin Baked Ziti: Mix the purée with the ricotta for a fall-inspired dinner.

Pumpkin Shrimp Curry: Whisk in purée with coconut milk and curry paste — great way to get those veggies in recipes!

Pumpkin Dog Treats: Who knew pumpkin purée is a great healthy benefit to your dog’s diet? Now you do!