Happy October! In my household, October means pumpkin season. Every October, I make as many pumpkin recipes as I can. By the end of the month, I am usually ready to say goodbye to pumpkin until the following year! A few years ago, I started this pumpkin tradition using canned pumpkin. Last year, I started buying pumpkin and making my own puree and to my surprise, it wasn't as complicated as it seems.
I know it may seem like an unnecessary step to your pumpkin pie making but I want you to bear with me for a moment. We have become so disconnected from our food that it has become the norm to buy pumpkin from a can. I mean, when was the last time you bought a fresh pumpkin and ate it? Yes it may take a bit longer to make your own pumpkin puree but it is another way to be more connected to your food.
This year, I went to a local farm and picked up my own pumpkins! The whole experience became more than just "picking up a can of pumpkin". It was an opportunity for my family to enjoy some quality time together while also connecting to our source of food.
Is this convincing enough for you to try making your own pumpkin puree at least once? I hope so! If you are still not convinced, check out this easy step-by-step way to make pumpkin puree.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
Step 1: Buy a pie pumpkin.
You know the big ol' pumpkins you see at the grocery store? You don't want to use those. Pie pumpkins are a lot smaller and the flesh is a lot sweeter and softer. I have used a big pumpkin in the past and found that when I made the puree, it was a lot "stringier". It is also a lot more difficult to try and cut a big pumpkin. A small pie pumpkin will give you about 2-3 cups of pumpkin puree.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 400oF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using parchment paper will catch liquid released when baking pumpkin and make clean up a lot easier.
Step 3: Wash and cut your pumpkin in half.
Cutting the pumpkin is the hardest part! Make sure you keep your fingers safe and place the pumpkin on a sturdy surface.
Step 4: Scoop out seeds and stringy flesh.
Keep seeds in a separate bowl to use in another recipe (keep an eye out on my blog for a recipe with pumpkin seeds). Use a spoon to remove any stringy parts of the flesh.
Step 5: Place pumpkin cut side down and bake for 45 minutes, until easily pierced with fork.
After removing from the heat, let it cool for 10-15 minutes or until it is easy to handle.
Step 5: Using a spoon, scoop out pumpkin flesh and place in bowl (if using a hand blender) or in food processor.
Blend until a smooth puree forms.
Step 6: Separate pumpkin puree into 1 cup portions and place into plastic bags.
If not using immediately, label bags, remove extra air, and store in freezer. To use, remove from freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
When using in recipes, remember that 1 can of pumpkin equals approximately 2 cups.
My pumpkin made 3 cups of pumpkin puree. You know what that means? Pumpkin-packed recipes coming your way!
What is your favourite pumpkin recipe? Let me know in the comments below!
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