Few things say Fall like the pumpkin, along with all the delicious things that you can make with one. Every year I stock up on multiples cans of pumpkin puree for muffins, pancakes, oatmeal and, of course, pie. But this year is different. After being discouraged by all the BPA in can liners that our bodies absorb, I decided pumpkin purée from scratch was worth trying. Well, wouldn’t you know – not so difficult and not surprisingly the fresh pumpkin tastes infinitely better than canned! Certainly it is way easier to pop a can open, but I am now a convert. I tried multiple methods of cooking pumpkin – steaming, cut in half, covered. The winner was roasting the pumpkin whole, with several slits cut into the flesh and tented with foil. Most of the time, the pumpkin was flavorful and smooth. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not always consistent, so not every pumpkin turns out the same.
I’m sure pumpkin’s dark orange color is a clue to how rich it is in Beta-carotene, which your body converts to Vitamin A. If not, you need to read my blog more often! Also, let’s not forget that pumpkin is loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, Folate and Vitamin E. Can you say nutritional powerhouse?
Roast away and freeze your purée for a rainy day. Stay tuned for a delicious recipe using pumpkin purée.
how to make fresh pumpkin purée
makes 5-6 cups
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Begin with a pumpkin suitable for eating, such as Sugar Pie. Poke the pumpkin all over with a knife and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Tent with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 ½ hours* until very tender and starting to lose its shape.
- When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, cut in half and remove the seeds and stringy center. Separate the flesh from the skin and puree the flesh in a food processor until smooth. Do this in batches, if necessary.
*This is for a 5-6 pound pumpkin. A smaller pumpkin requires less time.