Monday, November 12, 2012

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Canned pumpkin is an unnecessary Fall staple since making fresh pumpkin is easy, BPA free, preservative free, fun, and you get to roast the seeds!  (Unlike my husband, I love love love scooping out the seeds from a pumpkin haha!).  Especially in November, pumpkin is used in so many recipes from pumpkin pies to bread and pasta dishes, which is why this no-can pumpkin puree recipe is perfect for our No-Can-Ber month!  Do you have any recipes for using your pumpkin puree? Please share!

Choose your organic pumpkin:

For a pie, look for sweet pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Long Pie, or Cinderella pumpkins.  Or, your local grocery store may have pumpkins labeled "Pie Pumpkins."  If you use a regular carving pumpkin, the flesh will be too watery and flavorless.  As for size, choose a pumpkin no more than 3-4 pounds. Smaller pumpkins tend to be a little sweeter.

Roast your pumpkin:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut pumpkin in half vertically.
  3. Scoop out the seeds (save them for roasting!).
  4. Place pumpkin halves cut side down on an oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake pumpkin in the oven until it is tender throughout.  This may take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  I had a 7" diameter pumpkin which took exactly 45 minutes.
  6. Remove pumpkin from oven and let cool so you can easily scoop out the flesh from the peel.
  7. If you want to make pumpkin puree (which I did below), simply puree the flesh in a blender or food processor or mash it with a spoon or potato masher.  If you want chunks of pumpkin, you can cut it instead of blending.
  8. Store pumpkin puree (or pieces) in glass mason jars. My pumpkin made about 3 cups of pumpkin puree. I divided them into two mason jars and froze one.  The other I put in the fridge (going to make a pie soon!), where it will keep for 5 days.

Roasting pumpkin seeds:
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Rinse seeds in water and remove any of the flesh sticking to the seeds.
  3. Toss seeds with a little salt if you wish.
  4. Lay seeds in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes in the oven.  After 15 minutes, stir seeds.

~ Hannah
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