With just a week away from parts of the US seeing the first signs of fall color, now's the time to prepare for the festivities. Here is fun way to add a burst of real flavor to your pumpkin pies, muffins and other seasonal pumpkin creations. Many professional bakers suggest leaving the canned pumpkin on the shelf and making your own. It's not a lot of extra work, and it gives a thicker, more velvety texture that many prefer.
It's actually quite easy. We'll tell you how, plus point you to a few amazing recipes to use it.
As an added bonus, fresh pumpkin is packed with goodness like vitamins A and E, fiber, iron, potassium and antioxidants.
The first thing to know is that small pumpkins are much better for cooking than the large ones. The “meat” inside a small pumpkin has a finer grain and a more consistent taste. Save the big guys for jack-o’-lanterns and set aside two small ones for your puree.
- Select two small pumpkins. Cut each pumpkin in half.
- With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center of each pumpkin.
- Place the seeds in a separate bowl. If you wish, you can roast these later.
- Cut each pumpkin half in half once again so you know have pumpkin quarters.
- Place pumpkin quarters on a baking sheet (face up or face down; either way works.)
- Roast in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender. Pumpkin will be light golden brown when done.
- It will now be easy to peel the skin off the pumpkin quarters.
- Cut the peeled quarters into chunks.
- You can now either mash the chunks with a potato masher or puree them in a food processor or blender. Either method works fine.
When you’ve pureed all your pumpkin chunks, you can use them immediately or freeze them in one cup quantities for later use.
To store in the freezer, spoon about 1 cupful of pumpkin into plastic storage bags. Seal each bag with a small opening remaining. Use your hands to flatten out the pumpkin inside the bag and push out the air. Store them in the freezer until you need them. Your frozen pumpkin puree should remain good for at least six to eight months.
Serving Size: 1 cup
Total calories: 30 | Total fat: 0.1 g | Protein: 1.2 g | Sodium: 1 mg
Carbohydrate: 8 g |Fiber: 0.6 g | Sugars: 3.2 g
Pumpkin Puree Recipes
You'll be surprised about how many amazingly delicious things you can make with your fresh pumpkin puree. Take note that your pumpkin puree can also be used in any recipe calling for canned pumpkin.
'Tis the season for pumpkin! Click the recipe resources below and try one for yourself.