Pumpkin Puree {plus a few Pumpkin Facts}

clockwise: baked pumpkin with a scoop removed, the scoop of pumpkin on a spoon, the "processed" puree, and the left-over pumpkin skin.

It’s that time of year ~ Pumpkin time. Typically I purchase pumpkins for carving into Jack-O-Lanterns and decorating for Thanksgiving, not for eating. I’ve never purchased a can of pumpkin nor have I given much thought to when & where the pumpkins are grown that go into those cans?? That made me curious, I did a little research, and I discovered a lot of interesting pumpkin facts (hopefully they are true and I’m not spreading rumors false information). First, I read that one of the major manufacturers of canned pumpkin uses a fruit more similar to a butternut squash than a pumpkin. (via the kitchn and PickYourOwn.org) Pumpkins are good for you. They are high in fiber and betacarotene which our bodies convert to vitamin A.  The seeds are high in protein, iron and B vitamins. (via All About Pumpkins.) Hmmm…. maybe I should be eating more pumpkin, maybe we all should?! To help us reach that goal I’ll be sharing several “pumpkin” recipes. 🙂

Obviously, we’ll need some pumpkin. Of course you can use canned pumpkin; just be sure that you purchase pumpkin “puree” as opposed to “pumpkin pie filling”. Better yet, you – yes YOU can make your own pumpkin puree. I highly recommend making your own, because it’s really easy and not messy. I took a picture to show the “non-mess” I made while making the Puree, Pumpkin Pie Spice and Spiced Pumpkin Creamer.

The puree in the mini-chopper (would have been even less messy with the immersion blender), the left-over skins, the utensils I used and the Spiced Pumkin Creamer "steeping" in the background.

Not all pumpkins are created the same. There are actually “pie” pumpkins (also called “sugar” or “cheese” pumpkins) as opposed to Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins. The pie pumpkins are smaller (approx. 6 inches), sweeter and less stringy. If you use a non-pie pumpkin the amount of sugar may have to be adjusted (they are not as sweet) and you’ll have to “process” the pumpkin a bit longer to smooth out the grainy texture. The good news is, you can also substitute “butternut” squash. I used a “Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin” that I purchased at Trader Joes (I ❤ TJs) and it came with a cute little sticker with directions on how to turn the pumpkin into a pie. I saved the sticker, but in hind-sight, I should’ve take a photo of the cute little pumpkin before I pulverized it.

btw, I chose to “bake” the pumpkin, but other options are 4-6 hours in a slow-cooker on low, and they can be “steamed” or “microwaved”. The baking took a little longer than steaming/microwaving, but was less labor intensive in my opinion. Besides, I have a fondness for my oven & this is a “baking” blog, after all. 🙂

 

 

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Pumpkin Puree

  • 1 “pie” pumpkin, however, 2 would fit on a baking sheet

Slice the pumpkin in half from top to bottom (as opposed to slicing from side to side, but I don’t think it really matters). Use a heavy-duty spoon or an ice cream scoop to scrape out the seeds & stringy insides. (Save the seeds for making Roasted Pumpkin Seeds). Place cut side down on a lined baking sheet (I used parchment and the edges browned?, other options are foil or silicone). Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 90 minutes. (Apparently it could take less time, so you could start checking at 45-60 minutes to see if the “flesh” is soft enough to easily scoop out in sections.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once the pumpkins are cool, scoop out the flesh.

To make the puree, use a food processor, a blender or an immersion blender. Add the pumpkin flesh and “process” until smooth/resembles puree; think baby food. (I used my electric mini/nut chopper, but next time I’ll use my immersion blender – unless I am gifted with a food processor…this is me, dreaming again!)

Source: The sticker from the Trader Joes Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin

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Shared on The Furgal Girls! Chic ‘n Crafty Party

 

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