Friday, October 21, 2016
Fool-proof pumpkin purée in 10 easy steps!
You know I love me some pumpkin. It is one of those "superfoods" no one eats unless it's in pie form or processed syrup added to coffee. But the real stuff is loaded with so many vitamins, minerals, fiber, anti-oxidants and cholesterol-busting phytosterols, it's a shame to let all that clean goodness rot on your front porch. Just think of all that vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene and protein going to waste! And your pies, muffins, hummus, pudding, etc., will taste SO much better with the real thing vs. canned purée (even organic canned pumpkin). In fact, I added some to my chili recipe for this evening. If it's a hit, I'll be sure to post!
Here's a fool-proof way to purée your pumpkin in 10 easy steps!
1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Start with a pumpkin of any size, though the smaller the pumpkin, the easier to manage. However, size is important if you need a ton of puréed pumpkin ;)
3. Cut off the tops of your pumpkins. Then cut in half, revealing those little nutritional powerhouses (aka, pumpkin seeds). As you can see, all you need is a good, sharp knife. No special tools required to saw through the pumpkin.
4. Scoop out the seeds and the stringy pulp and place in a bowl. You can roast the seeds later.
5. Cut the scooped-out pumpkin into quarters and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
6. Bake for about 45-60 minutes depending on the size and amount of your pumpkin. The pumpkin should be fork-tender when done.
7. Once the pumpkin pieces are cooled, scrape the pumpkin meat from the skin and place in either a high-speed blender or the bowl of a food processor.
8. Depending on the water content of your pumpkin, you may not need to add any water to the blender/food processor before blending. I did not need to, however, you may want to have some filtered water at the ready while you're blending your pumpkin. If you need to, add about 1 tbs of water at a time while blending to get the purée consistency you'd like.
9. If you're not using up all of your purée immediately, you can store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about a week.
10. If you have some puree you know you're not going to use right away, you can freeze it. Place the puree in a freezer bag. Smush it down, letting out some of the air, when sealing it. It can be stored in the freezer for about 3 months.
Have you ever made your own pumpkin purée? What's your favorite way to use pumpkin?