Pumpkin in its purest form. So yummy. So easy. Throw away that canned junk! Okay, well don’t literally throw it away. Donate it to your Church or put it in your zombie apocalypse food storage bin. I know, cooking with fresh pumpkin can be pretty intimidating. Don’t fret, I’m here to give you some simple instructions on how to make your own pumpkin puree, store it for future use, and roast the seeds for a snack later. That’s right. We don’t waste anything around here!
Ingredients you’ll need:
-2 small-ish medium-sized baking pumpkins (you can use the jack-o-lantern sized ones if you dare but may run into some funny tastes and textures)
Yep, that’s it!
Start with pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees. Cut each pumpkin in half. Ready for some fun?
Don’t be afraid to get a little messy. Get all up in there, using a spoon, and scrape out the “guts”. It’s actually a great way to put your kids to work! They love anything gross! Separate the seeds and set aside for later. After you’ve finished playing surgeon, wash your hands because you want total control while showing off your knife skills. I don’t know about you, but I like my fingers. Especially the third finger from my thumb. On my left hand. (this hint-hint goes out to J-Wiz).
Now you’re going to cut each pumpkin half into quarters. You should have a total of 16 pumpkin wedges. That’s assuming one wedge didn’t “accidentally” fall to floor and Fido took off with it before you knew what was happening. (Did I mention raw pumpkin is an excellent, high-in-fiber doggie snack?) Line the wedges onto a cookie sheet, lined with foil for easy clean up, and pop into the oven. Do not add anything. No oil, no salt, NOTHING! We want 100% pumpkin here. Cook for 45 min. or until they are fork tender.
After the deed is done and these babies have cooled off, the pumpkin skin should easily peel away. Throw all the pumpkin “meat” into your blender or food processor. (compost the skins later) Blend until nice and smooth. I have a Ninja so I like to pretend I’m kicking that pumpkins ass into puree!
You’re almost finished! I like to measure my pumpkin puree into 1/2 c portions. (That way I know how much I’m pulling out of the freezer) The re-closeable snack size bags work perfect. But you are welcome to use any measurement you’d like. Seal the bag all the way except for a tiny bit of opening. Now, flatten out the bag and squeeze out as much air as you can. Keep it going! You’re doing great! Done? Okay. Now lick your fingers. Yes, that’s right. I said it. How else will you be able to confirm that you have just made THE BEST home-made pumpkin puree on earth? Now see how important those fingers of yours are? Stack up your bags and store in your freezer for up to 6 months. (maybe even longer, but I wont tell)
Not only will you make the perfect pumpkin pie with this puree, you can also use it for breads, soups, sauces or pumpkin butter. The sky’s the limit! I’m even willing to bet a simple smoothie made with greek yogurt, banana, your famous PUMPKIN PUREE and dash of nutmeg would taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Enjoy!
**DON’T FORGET THE PUMPKIN SEEDS!! YOU CAN DO THIS WHILE THE PUMPKIN IS ROASTING IN THE OVEN!!**
-Boil the seed in salted water for about 15 minutes. This will help them have a nice crunch.
-Drain seeds in a colander then pat dry with a paper towel. They will stick to the paper towels but that’s okay. Just peel them off.
-Toss the seeds in a little bit of olive oil or melted butter and spread out on a cookie sheet.
-Roast in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. I like mine super crunchy.
-Season with whatever your little heart desires and WA-LA! Munch away!