Recipes for Homemade Pumpkin Flavoring, for Everything!

| 10/29/2012 3:25:00 PM

Flavoring. Nothing conjures up more fear for me as a parent than this word. The FDA says "Natural Flavoring" is the "essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant mate-" blahdy blah blah blah. Just more technical jargin for crap they allow that will kill you.

No thanks. Reading a friend's Facebook status she said, "The essence of fall; watching my kids play in leaves, grey dreary days and pumpkin everything!" I couldn't agree more. So how does one infuse this ubiquitous flavor without using some sort of enxymolysis of edible yeast? I decided to put on my thinking cap.


Pumpkin pie, the comfort food of autumn: roasty, nutty, spicy, caramelly, make your knees knock together and faint when you smell it-y. So, lame admission, I didn't have any pie pumpkins or squash on hand so I had to use canned for this. I will detail both ways (as the former is by far superior).

As I dropped the pale orange blob into a mixing bowl it became quickly apparent that this is NOT was I was looking for. Raw pumpkin is tart and not incredibly palatable. It is in the roasting that draws out it's home-in-every-bite flavor. I turned on a pan and added the spices and such. Once it had all incorporated I added the pumpkin and stirred it until bubbling. Soon the color began to darken and that classic aroma began to fill our kitchen. Bingo. Just out of curiosity I passed it through a couple of strainers to make sure it was fine enough. I wanted something that would add an intense flavor to drinks or stews without the stringy texture that some pumpkins and squash have. Upon cooling it was ready to use for a number of dishes.

We'll start with the master recipes:

10/30/2012 1:53:54 AM

Becky and Andy, thanks for the pumpkin recipes. So much good food for the holidays and never enough calorie allotments eat it all. I'm afraid I always over indulge. :0) Have a great pumpkin day.

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