The Almighty Gourd

November 14th, 2013

#sauces & purees #recipes #kitchen tips & tricks #desserts #soups

The Almighty Gourd Pacific Foods

Of all the squash and gourds out there, none are as versatile as pumpkin. Rich in complex carbs, protein and vitamins A and C, pumpkin is as tasty in soups or appetizers, as it is entrees and desserts. Pumpkins are grown nearly all over the world, so author, DeeDee Stovel had plenty of recipes to draw inspiration from for her cookbook Pumpkin - A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year


We love the amazing range of pumpkin dishes in this cookbook, everything from salad dressings and smoothies, to soups, ravioli and fudge.  As a guideline, Stovel points out conversions for using fresh versus pureed pumpkin. (1 pound of fresh pumpkin = 2 cups cooked pureed pumpkin.) Our Organic Pumpkin Puree is a great substitution when you don’t have time to cook the pumpkin yourself. 


We were set on making the tasty Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, but after quickly flipping through this book, one pumpkin delicacy wasn’t nearly enough. We whipped up the Southwest Chicken Pumpkin Soup as well, and our tastebuds are still reveling. Try these two recipes together or on their own. There’s no wrong way to celebrate the goodness of pumpkin. 


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Pumpkin - A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year

Makes 2 loaves



4 eggs

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups Pacific Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree (1 carton)

1 cup of cooking oil

3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (Try Gluten free flour for those with wheat sensitivity)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips



  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil in a large bowl until thoroughly blended.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg into the pumpkin mixture. Fold in nuts (if using) and chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter between two greased 8 x 4 x 2 inch bread pans. Bake 70 - 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. (We found that metal pans cook faster than glass.) Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.



Southwest Chicken Pumpkin Soup

Adapted from Pumpkin -  A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year

Serves 6



2 cups Pacific Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree (1 carton)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 garlic cloves minced

1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 small can of mild green chiles

1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

3 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

1 14.5-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes, drained

4 Cups of Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth (1 Carton)

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro or Italian flat leaf parsley



  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat for one minute. Add the chopped onions and cook for several minutes until they begin to wilt. Add the bell pepper, chile pepper and garlic and continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes, until softened.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, mix the chicken in a small bowl with the cumin, salt, pepper flakes and a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Add the chicken mixture to the onion mixture and cook for about five minutes, until the aromas rise from the pot as the chicken begins to cook. Stir in the pumpkin puree and cook until blended. Add the broth, tomatoes and corn and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 to 15 minutes until the chicken is tender and no longer pink.
  4. Season with lime juice. Taste and add more salt if needed. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro or fresh parsley. 


Can’t get enough of the almighty gourd? Try one of these other great recipes on our website.


Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice Soup

Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin Mille Crepe

So Yummy Pumpkin Ice Cream 

Chai Dark Chocolate Bread pudding with Pumpkin Creme Anglaise



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