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Pumpkin shortage? Substitute can save your Thanksgiving recipe

Good gourd, a pumpkin shortage. Before you go giving that shriveling jack-o'-lantern on the porch a sidelong glance (no, that's not a kind of pumpkin we generally eat), there are plenty of substitution possibilities.

For pies: Try fresh sweet potatoes, either roasted or peeled and boiled, then pureed and used in lieu of pumpkin (a one-to-one ratio, no extra sugar needed). Canned yams, drained, rinsed and pureed, can be substituted as well, but ditch all the syrup. Fresh pumpkin can fill in: Look for varieties like the sugar pie; a medium sugar pie will yield about 2 cups of puree. Fresh pumpkins can be cut in half and roasted on a cookie sheet cut-side down; cut into chunks and boiled; or cut in half and microwaved.

For soups: Opt for a butternut squash bisque this year. Though sweeter than acorn squash or buttercup squash, butternut squash can be hard to peel. Pierce it a few times, microwave whole on high for 3 or 4 minutes and then even a relatively dull chef's knife will slide into that tough peel.

For other side dishes: A roasted half acorn squash is a perfect single-serving size, and its cuplike shape can be a dramatic receptacle for cranberry sauce or even stuffing.

For quick breads: If pumpkin bread is a holiday tradition in your household, think of making this year's batch with either banana or zucchini.

Pumpkin shortage? Substitute can save your Thanksgiving recipe 11/16/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:30am]

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