Pumpkins are a "deep-rooted" vegetable to the American soil and native culture. Pumpkins have been a source of nourishment for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
According to allaboutpumpkins.com, "These early Native Americans roasted pumpkin strips over campfires and used them as a food source, long before the arrival of European explorers. Pumpkins helped The Native Americans make it through long cold winters. They used the sweet flesh in numerous ways: roasted, baked, parched, boiled and dried. They ate pumpkin seeds and also used them as a medicine. The blossoms were added to stews. Dried pumpkin could be stored and ground into flour."
Our land, culture and wisdom exchanged with the natives is very much rooted to pumpkins.
This blog will be short and sweet, but I used sugar pie pumpkins to create this recipe. The recipe fuses savory and sweet flavors, so we get the best of both worlds.
The most difficult part of the recipe is cutting and deseeding the pumpkins. You can use butternut or acorn (or any other) squash to replace pumpkin, if you desire.
Vegan Cranberry Almond Stuffed Pumpkins
Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
2 sugar pie pumpkins (or other form of squash)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/3 cup brown rice
1/4 cup wild rice (or just brown rice)
3 cups of water + 1 bouillon cube (or vegetable broth)
1 tbsp vegan butter
1 bay leaf
1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Zest from 1 small navel orange
1/2 cup almonds, chopped (used blanched)
3/4 cup fresh cranberries (or dried)
Begin by melting the butter in a pot and cook the rice in the butter for 1 minute. Add all of the ingredients in the second list into the pot. Simmer these ingredients until the rice is edible and the water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, slice the top of the pumpkins off and remove the seeds inside. Place the pumpkins into a pan and pour water to line the bottom of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Once the rice is finished, stir in one tablespoon of maple syrup. Next, you can rub butter on the inside of the pumpkin (optional). Scoop the rice into the pumpkins and cover the pumpkins with it's cap.
Bake for 40 minutes or until you can "slice" the pumpkin's flesh with a knife.
What's your favorite stuffed pumpkin or squash recipe?
I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and wish you a wonderful weekend.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com