Dorothy Feltner reporting in from Lotts Creek.
In the spirit of Fall, I chose to do a cooking demo of pumpkin chili in a crock pot for our heart healthy cooking class requirement. I had a batch already prepared and served with rice for everyone to try. It had pretty good reviews from my participants, although I did leave the pepper flakes out. It was actually a vegan recipe, so I was surprised people liked it.
SWEET AND SPICY PUMPKIN CHILI
- 1 can each (3 cans total) of black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans drained
- 2-3 cups chopped pumpkin
- 4-5 tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock, as needed
- 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 3 T tomato paste
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T chili powder
- 2 T cinnamon
- 2 t cumin
- 1/2 t allspice and ground cloves
- 1/2 – 1 t chili flakes or cayenne (optional)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
For Sour Cream:
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 t apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 t sea salt
- Soak your cashews while the chili cooks.
- In the bottom of the crock pot add the oil, chopped garlic, chopped onion, chopped celery and allow it to sauté in your crock pot on the low setting.
- Once the vegetables have softened, add all the seasonings and mix well. Allow it to continue to cook this way for about 10 minutes.
- Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the chopped pumpkin. Boil for 5-10 minutes until the color pops but it is not too soft. Drain & toss into the crock.
- Stir remaining chili ingredients into crock. Cover & cook for 4-6 hours on low.
For Sour Cream:
- Drain the soaked cashews and add all sour cream ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Refrigerate to thicken
I did not make the sour cream to go with it because I could not find raw cashews, which would also be expensive. I served it with rice to demonstrate a cheap way to complete proteins without meat. I also emphasized the idea that you can use any type of squash or sweet potato in the recipe. Pumpkin is often overlooked as a meal item. It’s usually a flavor in a drink, used in pie or carved as a decoration, but pumpkin is just another type of squash that can be served in a healthy way. I wanted to show a new way to use pumpkin that incorporated something familiar elements like the use of a crock pot or a chili recipe. I think I it worked out pretty well.