All tastes pumpkin have returned to the market, which means Halloween and Thanksgiving will be here before you know it! Yesterday, at Trader Joe’s, the value $3 Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins were calling to my son. Last year, I ended up with more than a couple of pumpkins to decorate and it felt like such a waste when the time comes to dispose of them. This year, I am going to have different plans for my pumpkin purchases. I have decided to be ambitious and use them for the pop of color they add to my otherwise boring tabletop, and then, I will use them for food. I haven’t done this since I was young, but I remember it. And, it will be a good teachable moment for my young kitchen helper, that pumpkins are food as well as fun, and that we try to avoid food waste.
For this, you are going to want to pick a smaller pie pumpkin. Jack o Lantern pumpkins apparently taste funny (but you can still roast those seeds!). If you have made a butternut, acorn, delicata, or spaghetti squash, this is going to play out pretty much the same.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Cut off the top, just like you would a big pumpkin
- Cut in half, and scoop out the seeds (reserve for roasting later)
- Cut the halves in half
- Place the pieces on a baking sheet for 45 minutes or until golden brown
- Once cooled a bit, scoop the flesh off the skin and place in a bowl
- Puree a few chunks at a time with a little water to help things. Use a blender or a food processor
- Continue the process until you have pureed it all
- Store in jars or bags; it can be frozen for future use
Besides saving this for pie, you can use fresh puree as an add in to oatmeal, smoothies or as an egg replacer in baked goods. You can also use this for delicious pumpkin soup and chili.
Next month, we will talk about roasting the seeds and some fun variations you can do.
In health, Angela