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Fuji Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Fuji Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

*Recipe Notes: This chili is super easy to make and a great way to use up the odds and ends in your produce drawer.  Sometimes I add a diced carrot, some chopped up celery, or even an apple, finely chopped.  This is a very mild chili.  If you want to turn up the heat, throw in an extra jalapeno and some red chili pepper flakes when you’re sauteing the vegetables in step 2.  Serve up your chili just as it is, or add your favorite toppings, like shredded cheese, sour cream, and sliced scallions.  Another added benefit of making this chili is that it makes fantastic leftovers.  It’s even better the next day!

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 (28 ounce) can diced peeled tomatoes in juice
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, with juice
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, with juice
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 small onions, diced
2 medium bell peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Add the tomatoes, red kidney beans, and pinto beans to a slow cooker, and stir to mix. Cover and start to cook on low.

2. Heat the canola oil in a wok, or large saute pan, over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, jalapeno, and ginger and saute until the vegetables start to soften. Then add 1 teaspoon of the salt, and stir to mix. Add the ground beef and cook until evenly brown, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks.

3. Add the beef mixture to the slow cooker, then stir in the pumpkin puree, cumin, chili powder, basil, oregano, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, parsley, and ground black pepper. Recover the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low.