When fall fades into winter, the portly pumpkins that have assumed center stage all season long fade to black. We know they'll start popping up in patches when autumn returns next year, but we can't help but miss them when they're not around. Enter canned pumpkin—which is arguably the best canned vegetable there is. You get consistent, smooth, flavorful purée, with no slicing, scraping or baking, and you can buy it pretty much anytime you want it. So here's a few mouthwatering reasons to make pumpkin apart of your anytime menu planning, including a frozen yogurt that will (literally) melt in your mouth.
- Make a simple soup by sautéing an onion and adding about 4 cups of chicken broth and a 28-ounce can of pumpkin. Stir in 2 to 3 ounces of goat cheese, and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Use it as a thickener. Add a cup to vegetable chili, and it will round out the flavor and beef up the texture. Ditto for a spicy stew, black bean soup and even curry.
- Try substituting pumpkin purée for half the fat in quick breads. It will add color and flavor and pairs well with cinnamon, citrus and even chocolate.