Pumpkin is much more than a Thanksgiving must-have. It provides a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin A and fiber and has only 40 calories per half-cup serving. So, how are we going to get our “pumpkins” eat pumpkins?
I share with you the easiest salty pumpkin pie recipe, my kids love. You can make it with butternut squash too. It comes from Epirus, my father’s birthplace in Western Greece. Those who have visited this area know, that pies hold a central place in the region’s gastronomy. In Epirus practically everything can be made a pie. And the variety of local cheeses due to the area’s fresh goat and sheep milk is something else.
Google Epirus Greece to find more and visit this amazing region for unforgettable experiences the whole year long.
Do not forget to taste the local Feta cheese. Top quality.
Hands on: 20-30 minutes
Portion: for 4 or 20 small muffins
600gr (5-6 cups) pumpkin/or squash
(coarsely grated in a food processor)
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
150 gr (1 ¼ cup) hard cheese (coarsely grated, low calorie)
200 gr (1,5 cup) Feta cheese (crumbled, low calorie)
200 ml (1 cup) fresh milk (low calorie)
1/2 tablespoon dry mint (or 2-3 tbsps. fresh mint chopped)
½ cup breadcrumbs
How to do it
If you have followed our tip and have already kept your grated pumpkin in freezer bags, don’t forget to defrost, simply by placing it for one night in your refrigerator. Before using it, squeeze it again with your hands or let it drain for 10 minutes in a colander.
Preheat the oven to 180* C (350* F) Fan.
Take a big pan or pot and add 2-tablespoons olive oil (medium to high temperature).
Add the finely chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Lower the heat, and add ½ quantity (300gr.) of the grated pumpkin. Sauté for 5-6 minutes and turn the heat off.
Take a big bowl. Whisk the eggs together with the milk. Then add the onion-pumpkin mixture from the pan, the mint, the breadcrumbs, the raw pumpkin left (300gr.), and the cheeses. Season with a little bit of pepper and mix well.
If the cheese you used is too salty, do not add extra salt.
You are ready. Add the mixture in a Pyrex baking tray (25cmX35cm) and bake for 25 minutes, until the surface of our pie turns gold. Or add it in prepared muffin cups.
To reduce your preparation time use frozen chopped onions and frozen grated pumpkin. Here is how you can grate and freeze a fresh pumpkin. OR you can buy grated fresh pumpkin or diced frozen from your local store.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have exactly 600gr of grated pumpkin. Make it with 550gr or 650gr. It will still be delicious.
Use low calorie cheese and low calorie milk. Full taste, no guilt.
Use the same stuffing to make muffins.
This is what i do: I usually bake 10 small muffins (1/2 of the stuffing), and freeze the rest for later use. This way I can prepare in no time fresh nutritious muffins for my “pumpkins”. OR you can prepare two small thin pies, one to bake today and the other to freeze. OR make a big pie and bake immediately or freeze for later use.