Crockpot Pumpkin Chili (Vegan Option Included)

I really got into the whole “Fall” thing with this one.  We had a surplus of pie pumpkins at the house and I decided that, rather than let them all go to waste, I’d experiment with making a pumpkin based chili.  Pumpkin is also really really healthy. It turned out really good.  There’s definitely a sweet pumpkin flavor but it’s still chili so it has a bit of a kick to it as well.  As usual, I let the kiddos help out with it.  Enjoy

Ingredients

4 cups fresh cooked pumpkin or 2 15oz cans pumpkin puree.

4 cups water

2 green bell peppers diced

1 onion diced

1 lb ground turkey

1 tbsp each of cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic salt

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp each of pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and salt

1 can each of pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes with chilis.

 

So the first thing you need to decide is whether you’re going to use fresh cooked pumpkin, or canned pumpkin puree.  If you’re using canned pumpkin puree, skip to step 3.

Step One

You probably only need one pie pumpkin to get 4 cups of fresh pumpkin.  I cooked up 2 and froze the leftovers to use in bread, pie, or pancakes later.  So start by cutting your pumpkin in half and scooping out the innards.  Set them aside in a separate bowl.

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Step Two

Placed the hollowed out pumpkin in a glass baking dish filled about 1/2 in with water.  Cook at 400*F for about an hour.  The pumpkins are done when the outside is soft and squishy to the touch.  While they are cooking, do steps 3, 4, and 5.20181029_122932.jpg

Once they are done cooking, let them sit for about 15 minutes and flip them over to cool faster.20181029_134543.jpg

Step 3

Brown the ground turkey in a skillet and add it to the crockpot.

Step 4

Drain the beans but not the tomatoes, and add them to the crockpot as well.  20181029_123144.jpg

Step 5

Add the cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic salt, pepper, salt, and brown sugar to the crock pot.  Stir together and set on high.20181029_123253.jpg

Step 6

Dice the green peppers and the onion and add them to the pot.20181029_130527.jpg

Step 7

Once the pumpkins are cool enough to work with without burning your hands, scoop the pumpkin out from the shell and place into a large mixing bowl.  Add the 4 cups of water to the pumpkin and whisk together.  If you’re using the pureed pumpkin do the same thing.  Then add this mix to the crockpot and stir it all together.

Step 8

Cook on high for about 4 hours.  Add cheese or sour cream or anything else you like on chili to top it off and enjoy.

*This recipe can be made vegan very easily.  Simply take out the ground turkey and add another can of kidney beans.  It won’t really change the flavor or consistency that much.

 

So, right now, you have the innards of the pumpkin sitting in a bowl to the side.  What should you do with that.  Well, click here for a second recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.  It’s one of my family’s favorites.

As always, thanks so much for reading.  If you enjoyed the blog, please take the time to follow it by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Happy Fall!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

So, you’ve just finished making a Jack-O-Lantern or using real pumpkin in a recipe and you have a slew of pumpkin innards.  What to do?  Make roasted pumpkin seeds.  They’re super easy, healthy, and delicious to boot.  Growing up, my mom used to make these all the time and we love them.  Pumpkin seeds are rich in Fiber, Protein, Omega 6 Fats, Vitamin K, Phosphorus, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Copper.

So the bowl of innards probably looks a bit like this.20181029_122739.jpg

The bad news is that your hands are gonna get messy getting the seeds out from the innards.  The good news is that if you scooped the innards out yourself, then your hands are probably already messy.  So a large bowl full of innards will produce a medium sized bowl of just seeds.20181029_125818.jpg

The picture shows the original bowl with the new bowl next to it.  Add about 3 tbsp of olive oil to the seeds and toss it together for about a minute to disperse the oil evenly.  Then spread the seeds over a large cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper.20181029_130312.jpg

Cook for 15-20 at 400*F or until the seeds start browning and are crispy. Put them back in the bowl and toss them again to spread the garlic salt and black pepper better over the seeds.20181029_132207.jpg

Try a seed pretty shortly after they come out.  They cool fairly quickly.  If they are not crispy enough, put them back in the oven for a little bit longer.  Enjoy.

 

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Please take the time to follow the blog by clicking in the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Happy Fall!