Ok, that’s a bit of a cocky statement. But what the heck…?
You might know, that this blog started with the can challenge that I gave myself. I’m working on it. I’m already much better in cooking without cans now. I’m cooking from scratch, with lots of beans and veggies, mostly vegan and it’s much more fun.
There are always recipes coming up that ask for canned ingredients. Mostly people seem to be used to canned stuff nowadays. There is never the equivalent mentioned of the un-canned version. For beans I found helpful ‘dry-beans-soaked-beans-converter’ online, here is one for example.
One canned ingredient was kind of tricky though: canned pumpkin puree. Most recipes that I found online for pumpkin puree required a two million hour baking time for the pumpkin. Roughly. That plus the cooking or baking time of the actual dish always seemed to be too much of a hassle. Luckily I accumulated a lot of pumpkins from our weekly CSA box, didn’t know what to cook other than pumpkin soup and finally decided to make pumpkin puree as substitutes for the canned stuff.
I found a recipe that generously just asked for 25 min cooking time. I used all types of pumpkins that were rolling around here: butternut squash, spaghetti squash, some large round, green pumpkin and two small orange pumpkins where I don’t have a clue about their names. They probably would have asked for different cooking durations if they had a chance. But they didn’t. So, all of them got peeled, seeded, cut in small pieces, cooked for 25 minutes, pureed and then the best part:
Filled in large ice cube molds
HA! Now I’ve got lots of large pumpkin ice cubes stored in zip lock bags (reused the bags in which our CSA delivers the spinach and kale). I’m smiling from ear to ear when I think about it, and jumping in circles, singing: ‘I don’t need a caaahaan… I don’t need a cahaaaaan!!’
When a recipe asks for canned pumpkin puree, I just throw a pumpkin ice cube in and that’s it.
That was so much fun, that I continued right away with a spinach pesto. Because there was a bunch of spinach bags gathering in the fridge as well. What a great combination with the frozen Gnocchi’s that June and I made. When I’m in a rush for a tasty dish, I boil Gnocchi just until all of them swim on the water surface (takes only a few minutes) and thaw and heat the spinach pesto, add some more olive oil and that’s it. That’s even quicker than opening a couple of cans and making chili con (or sin) carne.
Only fresh ingredients were used, all organic, no can was involved, no processed food, no ingredients that I don’t know about! And did I mention that it’s FAST as well? Love it.
Cubes, that make the world a better place (less industrially processed at least). Jipieh!
Sure, there is more that makes good ice cubes for future dishes.