Pumpkin season is my favorite time of year. When the days get shorter, the nights cool and crisp, I indulge in my fascination with those odd shaped, brightly colored vegetables known as winter squash.
Pumpkin is a type of winter squash, and I use a variety of winter squash in my pumpkin recipes. For these Paleo Pumpkin Bars I chose roasted acorn squash, though you could just as easily select sugar pumpkin (a smaller, denser, tastier version of the more ubiquitous pumpkins used for jack-o’-lanterns), kabocha, butternut, buttercup, carnival or delicata, with fabulous results.
This year I’ve been purchasing my winter squash at Alfalfa’s, a local market that has an unbelievable selection of produce. How to choose a winter squash or pumpkin? Look for deep saturated colors and make sure the skin is thick and clean –no dents, scuffs or cracks. Finally, check that the squash has a hard, cork-like stem.
I am often asked if canned pumpkin will work in my pumpkin recipes. I must confess, I have not laid my hands on canned pumpkin for a good 20 years, so I don’t have an answer. I do recall we used canned pumpkin growing up, long before I developed can-phobia (though that’s another story involving BPA). Since making your own pumpkin puree can seem intimidating, I have prepared a simple tutorial called How To Roast a Pumpkin in 10 Easy Steps that walks you through this process.
Here are some of my other pumpkin and winter squash recipes: