There’s something about the close of summer that triggers nostagic feelings for foods those that are typically only enjoyed during the cooler seasons of the year. During the Fall, when pumpkins are served on dining room tables in addition to front porches, why settle for pumpkin-from-a-can when you can enjoy it fresh out of a garden.
Here, we outline the most basic pumpkin preparation, the pumpkin puree, to be used where recipes call for canned pumpkin, as well as roasted pumpkin seeds.
Choose a sugar pumpkin (also called pie pumpkin), or a cheese pumpkin, not a large carving pumpkin (the flavor isn’t as rich).
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove stem and slice pumpkin in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out all of the strings and seeds. If you want to toast the seeds, make sure to reserve in a bowl.
2. Brush flesh with olive oil and place flat-side down on a slightly greased baking sheet. Roast until skin is soft and can be easily pierced with a fork (about 30 mins). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 mins.
3. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skin. Pulse in a food processor or mash with a fork, until smooth and creamy.
Use your homemade pumpkin puree in place of canned pumpkins for soups, smoothies, pumpkin butter, and other tasty autumn favorites.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Create a crispy, crunchy snack using the seeds from the guts of your pie pumpkin.
1. Thoroughly wash the pumpkin seeds until they are completely rinsed of any pumpkin flesh.
2. Salt a pot of water and add seeds. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and drain. Pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside 2-3 hours until completely dry.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, toss pumpkin seeds in 1 tbsp of olive oil and seasonings of your choice. (Savory: salt, pepper, cumin, dried rosemary, chili powder, garlic powder. Sweet: salt, stevia, 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar, pumpkin pie seasoning.)
5. Spread seeds over an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
Enjoy these seeds as a crunchy snack and as a crouton alternative in soup!