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week68aPumpkin is my favorite fruit right after blueberries. When the leaves start to change, I know it’s time for pumpkins and my beloved pumpkin recipes. Pies, breads, puddings – I just can’t seem to get enough of this seasonal fruit.

Pumpkins are a superfood, loaded with vitamins A, C, E, K, and many minerals including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. Pumpkins are high in antioxidants – carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin – and are an excellent source of fiber.

The autumn season has allows me the opportunity to explore new pumpkin recipes. As homemaker and cook/baker when I’m home, I boast a collection of well over 200 cookbooks that I love to pour my heart and taste buds into. The following are a few of the new recipes I have already tried out this season. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup: Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss 4 lbs. pie pumpkin (peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks), 4 large sweet-tart apples (Empire, Cameo or Braeburn unpeeled, cored and cut into eighths), 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 30 min. Stir in 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage and continue roasting until very tender and starting to brown, 15-20 min more. Transfer about one-third of the pumpkin and apples to a blender along with 2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and repeat for two more batches. Season with the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and heat through over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent splattering, for about 6 min. Serve each portion topped with toasted chopped hazelnuts and a drizzle of 2 tbsp. hazelnut oil. Makes 12 cups. Serves 12. Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on high, covered, stirring frequently, or on the stovetop over medium heat.

Pumpkin Ravioli:  Combine 1 c. canned or fresh pumpkin, 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Spoon about 2 tsp. pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper (you will need24 wonton wrappers). Moisten edges of dough with water; bring two opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 tsp. salt; cook 7 minutes, and drain in a colander. Place 1/2 c. chicken broth in pan; bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Makes 24. Serves 6.

Pumpkin Cookies:  Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat 1/2 c. corn oil and 2 eggs until well emulsified. Add sugar substitute to equal 1 c. sugar and beat until fluffy. Add 1 c. pumpkin, then the following dry ingredients: 2 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger and 1 tsp. baking soda. Add 1 c. raisins and 1 c. walnuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 3 dozen. Serve with frozen vanilla yogurt sprinkled with pumpkin spice.

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