This year we bought a fall CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share with Heifer International. The surprises in the weekly boxes have been super fun and testing my comfort level in the kitchen.
One week they sent us home with a box full of beautiful greens and this huge gorgeous pumpkin! As a child, my parents would help us carve the pumpkin, and roast the seeds. As an adult, I had yet to take on that challenge. I was determined to not let this wonderful pumpkin go to waste!
Now, the typical ideal pumpkin for making your own puree, are the smaller sugar pumpkins. However, I am also a believer in using what you already have, and what I had was this huge bright orange squash.
If I can carve and puree this beast, anyone can! Here is an easy step-by-step process. Like I mentioned above, work with what you’ve got. My counter space was not big enough for this guy, so I used my dining room table.
The most important part of pumpkin carving you ask? A good sharp knife and some arm muscle! Once you have you pick out your carving knife, turn your pumpkin on it’s side and cut off the top. A tip here, sometimes it is easier to keep the pumpkin in a standing up position and cut around the stem to pull of the top.
This is the fun part! Time to get your hands dirty and scrape out the inside. The goal here is to clean out all the seeds and stringy fibers. If there is a little stringy mess left, that’s okay! Those pesky and slimy strings will be pureed with the rest of the pumpkin.
Don’t trash the seeds! You can roast those at a low temp of about 160 for 15 minutes. These are a great snack by themselves or added to granola.
Next, cut your pumpkin into fourths. If you have a huge pumpkin like I do here, you may want to go ahead and cute those fourths in half.
Place cut pumpkin on a baking sheet. I have seen it both face up or face down. Because I was working with a big pumpkin, I roasted it face up for about 45 minutes and then face down for 30 minutes for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes bake time. If you have a smaller and less thick pumpkin, you may need less time. Just keep an eye on the squash while it’s baking. Usually when roasting squash or sweet potatoes I use olive oil, but I wanted this puree to be untouched for various treat creations later.
You will be able to tell your pumpkin is done when the skin starts to wrinkle and the inside starts to brown slightly. Make sure to not burn it! Once you cut or pull the peel off, cut the pumpkin into cubes and place in a food processor or high powered blender and puree.
Ta-dah! Your own supply of pumpkin puree ready to be made into delicious pumpkin treats! I have made this batch into pumpkin bread, pumpkin chia muffins, and a pumpkin smoothie. Next up, pumpkin pie of course!
Feel free to share your favorite pumpkin treats in the comments below!