|PUMPKINS (©) 2007, JUDY BARNES BAKER|
I promised to report on how the great pumpkin experiment in Wishing for a Blue Moon turned out. We harvested a total of four pumpkins in spite of our very short, cool summer. Two are still stored in the garage; two have been successfully fried, steamed, creamed, souped, and candied. I purchased a large butternut squash to cook along with the pumpkin in each of the preparations for comparison. They were almost identical in taste and texture. The available nutrition information is not specific enough to differentiate between pumpkin varieties, but butternut squash comes in at 12 net grams of carbohydrate in ½ cup, cooked and mashed, while the pumpkin net count is given as only 4 or 5 for the same amount. If the blues really have the same number of carbs as the generic pumpkins that were used for testing, they would have a significant advantage.
My kids think it wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t make candied sweet potatoes for them. I bit my tongue and served them their old holiday favorite without recriminations, but I made my faux version for my husband and me with the new blue pumpkin. For the ultimate test, I persuaded my son to try a taste to see how it compared to the real sweet potato dish. He agreed that the sugar-free, blue pumpkin was quite acceptable as a substitute for the original, in all its gooey glory. The blue pumpkin had the same texture and it caramelized beautifully.
So it looks like I will try growing blue pumpkins again next summer. Perhaps there will be enough to put some in the freezer so I won’t have such a long wait for another blue moon.
Faux Candied Yams (Candied Pumpkin)
One fresh pie pumpkin (about 1½ pounds)
4 Tablespoons of butter (½ a stick)
2 slices of lemon with peel (about ¼ of a small lemon)
Sugar substitute equal to ½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
¼ cup of Da Vinci Sugar-free Simple Syrup or substitute ¼ cup of water and increase the sweetener of choice to ¾ cup (add 1 net carb per serving)
Cut the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds and fibers, and cut into slices. Pare the slices with a vegetable peeler. Cut the slices into ½-inch by 3-inch pieces, similar in size to fat french fries. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the pumpkin. Squeeze the lemon slices over the pumpkin, and then drop them into the pan. Mix the sweetener with the cinnamon and salt and sprinkle over the pumpkin. Add the syrup or water. Cook, stirring and basting with the pan liquid, over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender and starting to brown and caramelize. Add more water if necessary. It will take about 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 6 servings. Per Serving—Total Carb: 4.8g, Fiber: 0.4g, Net Carb: 4.4