Although you might think of pumpkins as a fall crop, in Florida we harvest them in the summer. Our favorite “winter squash” is called the Seminole Pumpkin. This heirloom, Florida native crop is well-adapted to our climate and the accompanying heat, humidity and insect pests. We have saved seeds for several years from our own crop. Many different phenotypes exist, with shapes from round to oblong. Our Seminole Pumpkins are sweet, moist and orange-fleshed, with a beautiful tan skin.
Here are two easy recipes that are healthy and satisfying.
1 seminole pumpkin
Quart of water, chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 tsp of ground ginger and garam masala (spice mix).
Cinnamon may be used in place of garam masala.
Optional: carrots or sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 can of regular (whole fat) coconut milk
Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place in a crock pot with a stock. Add seasonings. Cook on “low” for 4-6 hours or until completely tender. Add coconut milk and salt. Use immersion blender to blend and check seasonings. Add salt as needed.
Farm House Pumpkin Curry – Makes enough for a crowd
1 seminole pumpkin, peeled and diced, seeds removed
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 tsp whole mustard seeds, other optional spices: fenugreek, coriander, ginger
1 heaping tbsp curry powder
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup brown lentils
2 cups water
salt to taste
Heat coconut oil in a large pot. Add onion and mustard seeds (and other spices if using) and cook on medium heat until onions are lightly browned. Add curry powder and stir. Add diced pumpkin, lentils, and water. Simmer on medium low heat until lentils and pumpkin are tender, about 30 minutes. Check on pot and stir occasionally, adding a little more water if needed to keep it bubbling. When tender, add coconut milk and salt to taste, simmer 5 more minutes. Serve over prepared basmati or jasmine rice. You can add other vegetables to this mix such as daikon radish or carrots. You can also use another legume such as chickpeas, but make sure they are fully cooked first.