Monday, June 15, 2015

Pumpkin Kugel

New favorite food item: Farmer's Market Organic Canned Pumpkin. Organic! BPA-free lining! Convenient! Calorie-friendly (the whole can is about 180 calories)! Sodium? Fuhgeddaboutit! Price is right (often on sale for $1.89)!
When making a vegetable soup, I pour a can in for creaminess and flavor.

Second new food item: Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening. Margarine is a no-no, and the usual go-to is coconut oil, a flavor that I loathe with every fiber of my being. A little dab, and my entire orange cake that I spent quite a lot of effort into smelled and tasted completely of coconut. Gah.
This shortening is so neutral in flavor it literally tastes like nothing. Made from palm oil, it has a ridiculously high smoke point (many use it for frying), and stores best at room temp.  

How to bring these two together? 

I'm always on the search to expand my kugel horizons beyond the beloved but carb-dense potato. Zucchini and a cauliflower-potato hybrid have entered the traditional menu, but they were eager for a new sibling. 

I had attempted a butternut squash kugel, but it's so much freakin' work. The squash has to be roasted first (an hour) then scraped out and made pretty to add the rest of the ingredients, followed by another hour or so in the oven.

When I first bought these cans of pumpkin, I was limited enough to think that my only option was pie. I browsed many a recipe with healthful crusts, then happily tripped over this Pumpkin Kugel. Who says a crust is even necessary? I like to have more than one recipe to play with, and subsequently found these: Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Kugel and Pumpkin Kugel (scroll down, last one). I know, the former is technically for squash, but really, pumpkin and butternut puree are pretty much interchangeable.  

The dimensions in the last one threw me for a loop—twice as much pumpkin, but the rest of the ingredients are the same quantity as the other two, even though there's a bigger pan. Thus emboldened, I chucked together: 

2 1/2 cups of pumpkin (about 1.5 cans)
2 eggs
1/2 cups of whole wheat flour 
4 tablespoons of shortening (oil is still an option)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup (could use sugar instead for sweetener)
a dash of cinnamon (don't like it that much)
a dash of salt

I poured the tasty results into an oval baking dish, and it took about 50 minutes at 350. It froze and thawed beautifully.
It was so easy and quick to make!

The next time I make this I plan to use oat bran instead of the flour. I've used it before in kugels, and they always came out gorgeous.   

It was after all this that I discovered that the same brand makes canned butternut squash. Ah. Another option.      


SporadicIntelligence said...

You don't like coconut?!

I'm sure we can still be friends.

Princess Lea said...

I also don't like peanut butter. I need an exorcist!

Daniel Saunders said...

Is margarine bad for me now? I cook with marge instead of butter (because of cholesterol, which apparently now is OK anyway). Should I not be doing that?

I don't like coconut, but I do eat peanut butter. I possibly made it a lunch-time staple for so long that I've actually gone off it a bit now.

Princess Lea said...

It depends on the margarine. Since now trans-fat free is a good thing, that tends to get advertised on the package. If the margarine is made from trans-fat, yes it is bad for you. Butter is definitely better.

Daniel Saunders said...

Butter is better?! I seriously can't keep up with all of this!