Halloween’s the season for pumpkins. Here’s what we can do to make the vegetable interesting!
Pumpkins, or kalabasa, are quite common in the Philippines. We mash them, put them in a stew, or turn them into mashed squash as a substitute for potatoes. But Halloween is when we can get creative! Pumpkin has all sorts of other recipes that make it delicious. There’s pumpkin pie, the ever-infamous pumpkin spice latté, and many other recipes we can make this Halloween.
Pumpkin Spice: The secret to a delicious Halloween dish
Every Halloween dish has Pumpkin Spice to enhance the flavors. While some may prefer to buy pre-made pumpkin spice, there’s also a way to make it from scratch. Here’s how:
- 3 tablespoons of Cinnamon Powder
- 2 teaspoons of Ginger Powder
- 2 teaspoons of Nutmeg Powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Allspice Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of Clove Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground Black Pepper
All you have to do is whisk all the ingredients together and you’ll have your Pumpkin Spice!
Other ways can include buying the ingredients fresh such as cinnamon sticks and black peppercorns. Toast it a little bit on a pan for around two minutes on high heat before grinding it into powder. The heat will allow the flavors to express themselves even more!
What some even do is sift everything together so the flavors really marry.
Now that you have your pumpkin spice powder, here are some recipes you can make with it!
Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice
Bring the magic to your home with the famous Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice! Although the recipe calls for Apricot Nectar, we sourced substitutes to make it easier to make:
- Fresh Pumpkin (Kalabasa)
- 1 can of preserved peaches (for single-serve, we suggest getting those little peach cups!)
- Fresh orange juice (no sugar)
- Pumpkin Spice
- Brown Sugar or Muscovado to taste
- Skin the pumpkin and chop it up into smaller pieces.
- Boil or steam the pumpkin until soft. Make sure to cool it after.
- While the pumpkin is boiling, take some of the canned peaches and the syrup and blend until smooth.
- Take 1/4 cup of the water used to boil or steam the pumpkin and place it in the blender with the pumpkin.
- Add orange juice, muscovado, and pumpkin spice.
And voila, you now have the Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice! Nothing says Halloween more than a little magic from the Wizarding World.
Pumpkin Spice Latté
While it’s easier to check your closest coffee house to get Pumpkin Spice Latté, here’s how to make your own pumpkin-themed drink at home.
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- Brown Sugar or Muscovado
- Pumpkin Spice
- To make the syrup, it should be a 50-50 ratio between water and brown sugar.
- To prevent the pumpkin spice powder from burning, mix it only after the syrup starts to form.
- 50 mL of Coffee
- Once the pumpkin spice syrup is complete, pour some at the base of the mug.
- Add the coffee.
- Heat the milk and froth it a little to get some foam. To make milk foam, here are two simple ways if you haven’t bought a frothing wand online yet:
- Grab a mason jar, and fill it a quarter full before giving it a good shake for 30 seconds. After, stick it in the microwave so the foam can actually hold its form.
- Using a french press, pour in some heated milk and start pumping it for a full minute.
- Once you have the foam and the milk, mix it with the coffee and layer the milk foam on top.
For added decor, you can put the pumpkin spice powder on top of the foam!
If you’re looking for the Iced Version, simply cool the coffee and milk enough to room temperature so it doesn’t break the glass. Assemble the ingredients as follows: pumpkin spice syrup, coffee, ice, milk, and then froth.
Frustrated baristas may find more flavor in fruity-flavored coffee. Sagada beans may be the answer for a more mellow flavor instead of the usual barley-tasting Barako.
Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Cheesecake
Everybody loves cheesecake, especially the no-bake, creamy, mousse kind! Here’s the recipe to make a Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Cheesecake:
- Graham Crackers
- Pumpkin Spice powder
- 1/2 a cup of Butter
- Take some graham crackers and put them in a blender or food processor until dust. Or, you can do it the old-fashioned way by taking a zip-loc and stuffing it with the graham crackers. Then, muster all the stress you gained over the week, month, and years of managing the house, work, kids, husband, and in-laws and unleash it on the graham crackers with either a wooden spoon or flat-hammer. Crushing it in your bare hands is okay, too. Don’t use a meat tenderizer as it will tear the bag.
- After that, melt some butter. Be careful not to burn it!
- Once done, mix the graham cracker dust, pumpkin spice powder, and butter in a bowl until it gets a little sticky.
- Line up your pie pan with the butter crust and chill in the freezer so it’ll stay in one piece.
- 2 tetra bricks of All-Purpose Cream (chilled)
- 8 ounces of Cream Cheese
- Pumpkin Puree
- 1/4 cup of Condensed Milk
- Sugar to taste
- 1 tablespoon of Pumpkin Spice
- 1 envelop of unflavored gelatin
- Keep your all-purpose cream in the fridge to make sure it stays chilled.
- To make pumpkin puree, steam or boil the pumpkin and then put it through a blender until smooth. Let it cool for five minutes or so.
- Next, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and pumpkin spice powder.
- Mix the unflavored gelatin in hot water. Around 1/8 cup will do.
- Once done, whip the all-purpose cream in a separate bowl.
- As the cream starts to double, pour in the cream cheese mixture, the gelatin mixture, and condensed milk.
- Once fully incorporated, fill your pie pan and stick it in the freezer for four hours and you’re done!
If you’re trying to stay off the sugar this Halloween, Pumpkin Hummus is the recipe to go!
- 1 can of Garbanzos (chickpeas)
- 500 grams of Pumpkin
- 4 cloves of Garlic
- 1/4 cup of Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoon of Tahini Paste
- 1 cup of toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons of canola oil
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon of Paprika Powder
- 1/2 lemon or 2 pieces of calamansi
- 1 red bell pepper (remove all the seeds)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (remove all the seeds)
- Bake in olive oil the pumpkin, garlic, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper on a pan at 250 degrees celsius for 35 to 45 minutes. Or, until soft.
- Mix the garbanzos (chickpeas), tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and the baked veggies into a blender and process until smooth.
- Decorate with a small teaspoon of olive oil and paprika on top.
- Serve either with toasted bread or chips. You can even buy the Spinach Tortillas and slice them up into chip sizes for more veggie options.
Some people may like their Pumpkin Hummus a little spicy so you can put some cayenne pepper or a bit of ground siling labuyo.
For a more roasted flavor, you can also choose to roast the garbanzos with olive oil and paprika.
If Tahini paste isn’t available, unsweetened peanut butter or cashew butter is a good alternative. But for those who want to make it extra healthy, you can try adding flaxseed instead.
Also known as Ginataang Kalabasa, here’s a more stew-like pumpkin recipe for something with less sugar.
- 500 grams of Pumpkin (kalabasa)
- 1 medium-sized Red Onion
- 4 cloves of Garlic (if the cloves are tiny, double the amount.)
- 1/4 cup of Hibe (or dried shrimp)
- Coconut Milk
- Skin the pumpkin and cut it into small sizes.
- Coarsely chop the onion.
- Mince the garlic.
- Grind the Hibe into powder.
- On a pan with medium flame, add some oil for greasing.
- Sweat out the onion or cook until the onion turns translucent.
- Toss in the garlic and Hibe powder and cook until fragrant.
- Toss in the sliced pumpkin.
- Mix the coconut milk.
- Stew for 15 minutes on medium or until soft.
You can add all sorts of meat to this dish. Some like using ground pork but Tinapang Bangus works just as well. To add that crunch, skin the Bangus and cut the skin into small pieces. Next, toss it in some flour, cornstarch, a pinch of salt, pepper powder, garlic powder, and paprika. No need to deep-fry! Just pan-fry until it gets crispy. But with meat, you can chop it up into smaller pieces and cook at the same time with the garlic, onion, and squash.
For the coconut milk, some people add more flavor by getting 1/4 broth cube or bouillon and mixing it in the water with the coconut powder. This allows them more control and a richer flavor.
Bagoong is a good substitute for Hibe, too.
Pumpkin is the star of Halloween!
Besides carving pumpkins or running around the village with our pumpkin-shaped plastic buckets for trick-or-treating, having pumpkin for dinner is not only healthy but a delicious meal for everyone. Before you go shopping for that pumpkin, make sure to buy pumpkins from the farmers to make their Halloween spooktastic, too!
More Halloween ideas for 2022:
Halloween Mocktail Recipes to Make for Your Next House Party
Halloween in the Philippines: How Folklore Can Spice It Up in 2022
5 Halloween Costume Ideas for Pregnant Women