I am an honorary Canadian and (Canadian) Thanksgiving has been nothing short of a special treat for the past 8 years. Beyond the turkey, stuffing, gravy and all of the extras that come with a traditional Thanksgiving meal, pumpkin-based desserts have become a staple in my Fall “cheat meal” routine. I’m talking pumpkin spice lattes, muffins, scones, candy and – of course – the almighty pumpkin pie! But there is one thing that I will always cherish, when it comes to this fall favourite – the smell of freshly roasted 🎃 coming from my Grandma’s kitchen on a cool autumn afternoon.
Growing up a in Bulgaria, I wasn’t aware of the pastry phenomenon revolving around this particular fruit. A roasted pumpkin, slightly charred, sprinkled with caramelized sugar, honey – or both – and finished off with freshly chopped walnuts is my favourite memory of this nutritional beast. And although Thanksgiving is now behind us, who says we have to turn our backs to this orange beauty?! Halloween is still ahead and if you’re going to carve one out, you may as well eat the left overs!
I decided to share the recipe of my childhood with you, so keep on reading on…
- Small to Medium Sized Pumpkin
- Honey (I used Wildflower Honey, it’s dabomb-dot-com)
- Crushed Walnuts
Cut the pumpkin in half, then to quarters (depending on its size, you’d want to end up with equal squared portions). Clean the fruit and scrape all of the seeds – you can leave those aside, wash them and then roast them in the oven with some spices to enjoy later. Line the pumpkin squares on a tray – skin side up – and pour about an inch of water (or until half way covered) and place in a pre-heated over at 400-420 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the water boils, turn down to 390 degrees (180-190 Degrees Celsius) and roast until the water has completely evaporated. Once ready, flip the pumpkin squares skin side down, sprinkle some sugar and turn up to your oven to broil, so that the pumpkin can char a bit. Serve with a sprinkle of honey and walnuts and enjoy warm.
Added Benefits: Raw, or slightly cooked fresh pumpkin, is a source of finer, potassium and Vitamin C. Studies show that consuming enough potassium is as important as decreasing sodium intake for the benefit of treating high blood pressure, hypertension and more. Read on for full benefits here.