You’ve read about it a million of times on my blog and I can’t believe I’ve been so absent-minded to let you all know how I actually make pumpkin purée. Making your own version instead of the canned kind is not only cheap, easy and satisfying but in fact healthier for the body. Whenever you purchase something from a can, you know there are preservatives in it. Not all preservatives are required by the FDA to be reported in foods in America. See just one full report that I just picked out of the millions about this topic. You may think that food preservatives are okay for consumption but there is a lot of speculation on approved and non-approved chemicals used for preservation. I’m not a health professional, researcher or anything of the sort but you can read more about preservatives here at Sustainable Table. In my opinion, if you can make fresh, why not?
In my opinion making fresh pumpkin puree is similar to wearing the race t-shirt after a marathon – it’s all about health and pride. Imagine yourself carrying a pumpkin proudly through the farmers’ market or grocery store. People will think you are a domestic god or goddess! Hehe Little do they know it’s so easy to make your own – just make sure you keep it a secret.
1. Purchase pie pumpkin or any other pumpkin available. I prefer to purchase pie pumpkins because they are sweeter and lets face it, easier to carry around while shopping.
2. Rinse off the pumpkin.
3. Chop in half – perfect job for releasing anger! Go ahead, let it all out! The pumpkin doesn’t mind, just be careful of your fingers and others around you.
4. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds. See note below.
5. Place the pumpkin halves on a roasting pan.
6. Fill the pan with 1 inch of water around the pumpkins. It doesn’t take much. Cover with aluminum foil.
7. Roast in a 450F oven for about 30 minutes or less. After the first 20 minutes or so, start checking to see if a fork will go easily through the pumpkin skin and all. You will probably know when the pumpkin is done because the house smells wonderful and the pumpkins have turned a deep orange color.
8. Remove from the oven. Let them cool for about 10-20 minutes, or until you can touch them without burning yourself.
9. Easily scoop out the pumpkin “meat” from the rind and place into a food processor. Give it a good whirl for a few minutes until smooth. If you have a really good food processor, go ahead and place the rind in too. This gives the puree a deeper orange color but unfortunately it is hard to get it smooth in a regular blender such as mine.
10. Optional: Place a piece of cheesecloth on top of a colander. Pour the puree on top of the cheesecloth and let it drain for an hour or so. It removes some of the water but isn’t especially necessary. I usually don’t do this step… Enjoy!
Note #1: Take your seeds, rinse them gently and place in a lightly sprayed pan. Put it in the oven along with the pumpkin as it roasts. Not only will you have roasted pumpkin puree in less than an hour but you will also have roasted pumpkin seeds. Hello savings!
Note #2: You can keep pumpkin puree fresh in your fridge for about one week. Otherwise, go ahead and freeze some in your freezer which will keep your puree fresh for about 6 months! We tend to do both in our household to assure we have some pumpkin puree for a few more months out of the year.