All of my neighbors adorn their homes lavishly with clever decorations for every holiday that comes along. Although I make great plans for decorating, I’m lucky to get the basic cleaning, laundry, and errands done. Most holidays, I try to put a few decorations on a runner that goes down the middle of my dining room table; my kids and grandkids would be very disappointed if I failed to do at least that much.
Fall decorating however, has always been fairly easy; for years, in September I would purchase silk autumn leaves, a package of pretty gourds, a few squashes (which would get eaten as the season progressed), and lots of those cute baby pumpkins. When October came along, I would add a few Halloween things, which would be replaced in November with some Pilgrims and a large filled cornucopia. When it came time to decorate for Christmas, I would just gather up the gourds and cute baby pumpkins, dump them in the trash, and not think anymore about it until the next fall when it was time to repeat the scenario.
A few years ago, I discovered that those cute baby pumpkins (that I have been throwing away every year on the first of December) were actually edible! My guilt-ridden conscience remembered those kids in poor countries that Mom always told me about, who were starving; here I had, over the years, tossed at least hundred or so of those delicious pumpkins!
My discovery came when I was searching for side dishes to serve at an upcoming Thanksgiving dinner; I ran across a recipe for Herb and Cheese Stuffed Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins that were to be served as a vegetable; they were so good, I’ve been making them ever since. This year I decided to test the recipe in a slow cooker; my slow cooked baby pumpkins were not only just as delicious as the oven version, but they took less than 15 minutes hands-on time. The oven version requires pre-baking the pumpkins, cleaning them out, stuffing them, and baking just before dinner—about an hour of hands-on time!
If you have kids, you can let them draw faces on the outside of the pumpkins before baking; that way they’ll be sure to eat them.
Herb & Cheese Stuffed Baby Pumpkins
Not only are they delicious, these miniature pumpkins are very good for you. They contain loads of beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which converts to vitamin A in the body. In addition, pumpkins contain lots of fiber, potassium, folate, and even some vitamin C.
I've found the large oval slow cookers work best because there is more room to put the pumpkins.
8 baby pumpkins, Jack-be-little, or any other miniature pumpkin either orange or white (about 4 ounces each)
1 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
1 6.5 ounce tub garlic and herb spreadable cheese such as Alouette
fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons water
Wash and dry the baby pumpkins. Cut off the top 1/4 of each pumpkin and with a spoon scoop out the seeds.
Mix the cream cheese, garlic and herb cheese, and eggs until smooth. Divide the mixture among the pumpkins and place in a large slow cooker. Place a few sage leaves on the cheese mixture in each pumpkin. Place the pumpkin lids in the slow cooker (not on the pumpkins; just wherever there is a space) preferably not touching the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle the water aroumd the pumpkins.
Cover and cook on low 2-3 hours or until the pumpkins are tender and the filling is puffed. Serve with the tops placed to the side.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 119 Calories from Fat 101
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 84% Protein 12% Carb. 3%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 84 mg
Sodium 100 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 3%