This is a guest post from my wife. Kris has her own devoted following around here, eager for her tips. You probably don’t realize it, but her recipe for baked potato soup is a perennial favorite at this site, and still garners rave reviews. Here are two of her favorite uses for pumpkin.

‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, of course, but also pumpkin scones, pumpkin spice lattes and now…pumpkin butter. This recipe couldn’t be easier for a beginning canner because it starts with canned pumpkin and has a very short cooking time. The finished product can be used just like apple butter or any jam — it’s great on warm muffins or waffles!

A jar of pumpkin butter would make a nice “thank you” for someone on your list. I have canned this product for several years with no problems, but new USDA guidelines urge against home-canning of pureed pumpkin products. (Thanks to GRS reader Michael for the update!) I’d recommend following the canning steps below, but then storing the jars in the refrigerator or freezer rather than on the shelf. It probably won’t last long around a hungry family, anyway!

Spiced Pumpkin Butter

  • 3-1/2 cups canned pumpkin (one 29-ounce can) (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (or make your own from 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. ground cloves or allspice)
  • 1 envelope (.25 oz) unflavored gelatin

Prepare a boiling water bath and five half-pint glass jars and canning lids.

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t splatter. Spoon hot pumpkin butter into hot jars, filling to 1/4-inch from top. Remove any air bubbles with a knife. Wipe jar rims with a damp cloth and add lids and screwbands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Check seals.

Makes 4-5 half-pint jars.

If that’s not your thing, how about these decadent pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. This batch makes a dozen, or works well in three or four mini-loaf pans (adjust baking time as needed).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 1-2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup real butter, melted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, or sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare twelve muffin cups. Whisk together flour, sugar, spices, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, canned pumpkin, vanilla and melted butter. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in chips and nuts. Scoop into muffin cups and bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center of a muffin (unless you hit a chocolate-y spot!).

J.D.’s note: Sometimes I think it would be fun to put together a Get Rich Slowly cookbook. Obviously not all of the recipes Kris and I share are frugal, but in general home cooking is a great way to save money and enjoy high-quality food. It could be fun to share our favorite recipes, and the favorite recipes of GRS readers.