The great lure of neck pumpkins is under way at Wolff’s Apple House. Their curiously elongated shapes and lighter hues compared to traditional pumpkins make them an easy game of I Spy for the eyes.
Neck pumpkins are an ancestor of butternut squash, which is known for so many cooking and baking recipes today.
When it comes to pondering about oven-ready moments, neck pumpkins are infamously successful in beloved autumn pumpkin pies.
Due to their uncommon, stretched-out shapes, seeds sit in the bellies of neck pumpkins, while the rest of the fruit beckons throughout the remainder of its contours.
They are sometimes favored by baking connoisseurs also because they’re less watery than other types of pumpkins, once sliced open. Having less seeds is also a nice factor (but you can always roast pumpkin seeds and put them to good use, spicing them with raw sugar and cinnamon for a great fiber factor).
And not having as much stringy pulp to deal with is another plus for the neck pumpkin’s admirers.
Neck pumpkins are also fun with the noises they echo into the air when tapped with something like a spoon. Their neck sounds hollow, while their bottommost section sounds solid mid-tapping.
Wolff’s marketing consultant, Rachel VanDuzer, has a healthy homemade Pumpkin Coffee Syrup recipe she crafts using butternut squash. Its palate-geared delights pair wonderfully with autumn temperatures and cravings that develop while wanting to keep cozy as the air begins to carry the lightest chill to it.
“Also, I use neck pumpkin in place of puréed pumpkin in pumpkin bread recipes,” she says. And she hopes to test neck pumpkin out in pie-form soon, too.
“I either microwave or bake it until its soft, scoop it out and purée it,” she says.
Butternut squash is known for its low calories and how it fortunately lacks saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also a great fiber food and carries a good amount of phytonutrients per scoop.
On top of that, butternut squash is rich in vitamin A, compared to its pumpkin relatives. Vitamin A serves the body as an antioxidant that helps keep skin and eyesight healthy.
The array of B-complex vitamins (folate, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin, to name a few) and boasting mineral content (iron, zinc, copper, calcium and phosphorus) in butternut squash also makes it a charmer for meal-time.
So be glad to know you’re taking in some especially useful nutrients with this Pumpkin Coffee Syrup recipe.
- ⅓ cup juice of butternut squash
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon. ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom (or ginger)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- Use a juicer to extract the juice from the squash. If you don't have a juicer, you can also substitute pumpkin purée.
- Bring butternut squash juice or pumpkin puree, water and spices to a boil; allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Run through a cheesecloth 1 to 2 times to remove excess chunks of spices.
- Transfer mixture to a glass pint jar, add maple syrup and stir until mixed. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of syrup per cup of coffee or latte.
- Store 3 weeks in refrigerator.