Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and the Christmas decorations are coming out of their storage containers, it’s time to get rid of those Thanksgiving decorations – by roasting them and eating them! This is so easy and tasty to do.
One of my favorite ways to decorate for the holidays is by using fruit, vegetables or items from nature like pine cones or branches. The best decorating items are ones that can be enjoyed and then eaten.
Remember when decorating with natural items that if you want to eat them when you’re done using them as decorations, make sure you grow or buy only pumpkins, squash, and gourds that are meant for eating and not decorative ones. If you’re buying decorative ones, they usually say on the bag or on a tag that they’re meant for decoration only.
Like making broth from leftover Thanksgiving turkey bones, this is more of a method and less of an official recipe. You can easily trade out different types of squash, pumpkins or other root vegetables in this recipe.
I never peel any root vegetables before roasting them in the oven and my beet salad recipe is another example of waiting until after baking to do so. It is so much easier and takes much less time if you peel them after they are baked/roasted. You can skip peeling them all together if you’d like, too, after they’ve been roasted.
- Pumpkin, squash or other edible squash
- Olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Chop or leave vegetables whole. If chopping, remove seeds.
- Place vegetables on 11” x 14” baking sheet (jelly roll) and brush with olive oil. The olive oil is really to hold the spices onto the vegetables. Don’t drown the vegetables just give them a little brush and think of it like “glue.”
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper,and red pepper flakes.
- Place in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or so. You’ll know it’s done when your fork goes all the way through the vegetable.
- If you like a little more “char” or roasted parts to your vegetables, broil these for about 5 minutes before removing them from the oven. Keep an eye on them so they don’t get too burned.
- Scoop the inside out with a spoon if the skin is too thick or use the entire piece of squash or pumpkin if it will easily go through your food processor.
- Place all chunks of roasted pumpkin and squash in food processor and add enough broth (beef, chicken, vegetable or water) until it will process. If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this in a blender, as well.
- After your roasted pumpkin and squash has been blended with broth, place in a saucepan and warm it up and eat it.
You don’t have to chop your pumpkins or gourds too small. Keep it easy on yourself. The below squash was too big and needed cutting before roasting.
Can you eat the skin? If you’d like. How to tell? If your fork goes through the gourd/pumpkin/squash easily after roasting, then leave the skin on.
If you can’t get your fork through the skin after roasting, scoop out the inside with a spoon. Add onions to the baking sheet, too, for added taste.
Then, into a 400 degree oven until it’s all done, about 30 minutes or so. Check done-ness with fork. If it goes through, it’s done.
Save the seeds from the insides, label them, and let them dry out. You can plant them in your garden next year.
Who gets the last of the insides and goopy seeds that you don’t save?
Well, the backyard chickens, of course! They love it. If you don’t have chickens, you can also compost this mixture.
Once you’ve added enough broth, seasoning, and onion/garlic to the soup, enjoy it with a green salad and chewy bread. It’s easy and delicious and you’ll be so happy to be eating your decorations!
Do you like to eat your decorations? What’s your favorite vegetable to roast?
Go Gingham related links:
How to roast red peppers or food you’re supposed to burn
How we keep food waste to a minimum
Confessions of a leftover food lover – that would be me!
How to roast tomatoes freshly picked from the garden – so good!
I also like to save seeds and re-use those in my garden!