Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Making Pumpkin Puree and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

When you get that huge pumpkin from the pumpkin patch for Halloween or get one to decorate for Thanksgiving, you don't let it sit around until it gets all moldy then throw it away do you? Tell me you don't! Tell me you cut that pumpkin up and make it into pumpkin puree for making pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins then toast the seeds for snacking. Or at least if you haven't before, you should now! Processing a pumpkin is very simple, but somewhat messy. (note: if you've carved your pumpkin you shouldn't process it for puree as the inside has now begun to go bad. Make puree from uncarved pumpkins.)

Making Pumpkin Puree
  1. Wash the outside of your pumpkin.
  2. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out all of the guts (save the seeds for roasting). Compost guts minus seeds or give to your backyard chickens!
  3. On a cookie sheet, place pumpkins cut side down and roast at 400 degrees for 30+ minutes. test occasionally with a knife. If knife pierces skin easily then pumpkin is cooked.
  4. Remove pumpkin flesh from skin and compost the skin.
  5. Put pumpkin flesh into a food processor and process until you get a puree consistency.
  6. I then store my puree in old 32 oz yogurt containers in the fridge or freezer. In the freezer it will last for 6 months to a year.
Roasting pumpkin or squash seeds
  1. remove seeds from pumpkin or squash then rinse most of the squash guts off of them.
  2. sprinkle with salt or any other spice you like.
  3. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes checking often. If seeds start to get too brown or burn remove from oven immediately.
  4. Occasionally scrape seeds off of pan with a spatula then rearrange them back into a single layer if all seeds aren't crispy.

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