Tis’ the season for pumpkin-everything!
Using real pumpkin has incredible health benefits.
- Choose smaller baking pumpkins. The larger the pumpkin, the less pumpkin taste it will have and may be stringier. These smaller pumpkins are often called “baking” or “sugar” pumpkins.
- Large ones make great Jack O’ Lanterns, though!
Roasting and Pureeing
- Preheat oven to 350 F and set aside a baking sheet.
- Using a sharp knife, trim off the top stem section of the pumpkin
- Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and strings. Be careful not to scrape too much of the “meat” with it. This can get messy, but feel free to use your hands!
- When the seeds are removed, cut each half in half again longways (creating quarters).
- Place each quarter on the baking sheet skin side down
- Roast for 45 minutes or until pumpkin is tender when touched with a fork.
- Let it cool for as long as needed until you are able to handle it
- Peel (with a knife or your hands) the skin off of each piece of pumpkin. it should remove fairly easily. You can discard the skin.
- Throw the pumpkin pieces into a food processor or high speed blender.
- Blend until pureed. You shouldn’t need extra liquid, but if your pumpkins are particularly dry, blend in 1-2 Tbs of water. It should be a thick, but smooth consistency. It can be used right away or frozen for later.
- Let pureed pumpkin cool completely.
- Scoop into freezer bags or freezer containers in 1 cup increments (this is usually a good measure for recipes).
- Make sure all air is removed and, if in bags, lay flat. I like to write the date and what is inside so that it doesn’t get confused with any frozen soups!
- Freeze for up to 6 months. To defrost, stick in fridge overnight or run under warm water.