Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree - The Easy Way




It's pumpkin season! Why not make your own pumpkin puree! 
Cooking or baking a pumpkin is not any different than making a butternut or acorn squash! 
Everyone loves pumpkin, but very few of us have ever cooked a real pumpkin or ever made our own pumpkin puree for baking. This was a first for me, and it was so easy I was amazed and delighted with the result! Cans have lots of toxins including BPA- why expose your family when you can make this so easily and it tastes so much better.


I use pumpkin recipes so infrequently that I usually just buy one or two organic cans of pumpkin at Trader Joe's each fall.  I am never really comfortable using canned food, but really didn't know how to make my own pumpkin puree. But not this year! This year I made my own simple and fast homemade puree and used it in a simple pumpkin pie ( GF and vegan)  and 1-2-3 easy pumpkin pudding bars!

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Truthfully, in the past seasons,  I never really saw the small "sugar pumpkins" which are the kind used for baking pies and other pumpkin baked goods. However, this year they seemed to be in my face everywhere! I saw them at Trader Joe's , Whole Foods, and even the local supermarket. I don't know if the big pumpkins work, they are very bland tasting as opposed to the sugar pumpkin which is flavorful and sweet.

The  "sugar pumpkins" were so cute, I decided to buy one, bake it, and puree my own pumpkin. It just $1.99 at Trader Joe's, and it made what would be equivalent to two cans of pureed pumpkin.

Why would I bother to make my own puree?  BPA, Aluminum, and Copper are part of the reasons
  • First of all canned foods are not all that healthy because of the cans. 
  • There is BPA in cans!!
  • Also, cans  are usually made of tin ( which contains considerable amounts of aluminum and copper and can leak into the food), and who knows what else lurks in there. Heavy metals are toxic, especially for little children !
  • Truthfully, we forget that even organic canned pumpkin in stores like Trader Joe's still expose us to the undesirables that lurk in the can. 
  • The pulp of my "sugar pumpkin" was so sweet- it tasted like butternut squash! I wanted to eat it as a side dish for dinner!
Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Scoop and Mash Time: 5 minutes
Vegan, Gluten free


The couldn't be easier Easy Steps to Making Your Own Puree

1. Cut the pumpkin in half- ( first cut from stem to bottom on one side, turn the pumpkin and then do the other side.

2. Scoop out the seeds ( wash them well and you can roast them at 375 for about 25 minutes- they are tasty and healthy)** see below for how to roast the seeds.

3. Place the two halves of the pumpkin face down on a rimmed cookie sheet or large casserole pan. Add 1 and half  cups of water to the pan ( pierce the pumpkins a  few time with a fork)

4. Bake for about 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. ( It is done you can pierce a knife easily into the skin)

5. Allow to cool enough to scoop out the soft flesh and blend with an immersion blender or mash with a fork ( I used a fork)

Use it that day or the next or freeze it !

THAT'S IT!!

Use it within two days or freeze it. It will only stay fresh for two days in the refrigerator.
However, it freezes for about 3-6 months. If you want to freeze it, do this firs to remove liquid:
Put the puree into a small mesh colander with a small plate on top to release excess liquid before freezing. Your puree will be firmer after thawing.


cut in half and scoop out seeds- 


Place on cookie sheet ( rimmed) with a cup and half of water 
scooped and mashed with a fork or use an immersion blender for a whipped version

Bonus: scoop out seeds, soak in water , and rinse and drain. Spread on cookie sheet and roast for 25 minutes on 375. Season and eat!


Don't forget the pumpkin spices! You can buy a container of pumpkin spice mix iOR use this very easy recipe make your own pumpkin spice mix from ingredients you have in your kitchen.

There are also pumpkin pie recipes and other recipes 





                                                      pumpkin recipes 

Note: Pumpkin is considered a winter squash and it not only tastes great , it provides excellent nutrients. 
  • High in Fiber -1 cup cooked 3 grams
  • Very Low in Calories- 1 cup cooked 49 calories
  • Rich source of Beta Carotene ( which converts to Vitamin A in the body) 
  • High in antioxidants
  • Rich orange color gives it the properties for anti aging for eyesight
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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.



Author: Judee Algazi

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14 comments:

  1. This is really no that hard to do and so worth it to avoid BPA and get more nutrition since it's never been canned. I've got a pumpkin in the oven right now!

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  2. You are more than halfway there. Once your pumpkin is in the oven, all you have to do is scoop and mash.

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  3. So delicious! :) I'm typically just opening a can of pumpkin! ha ha.

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    1. I get it. most of us are, but actually it's easy!

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  4. Great ideas Judee, we are just cutting our Pumpkins :)

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    1. Enjoy. It's so much fun to carve the pumpkins. My kids always loved it

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  5. I was just wondering how to make this the other day. I am so glad I saw your recipe today! I would love if you would share this at Celebrate It! It's our blog party where we celebrate the everyday things that we do!
    http://thefreshmancook.blogspot.com/2014/10/celebrate-it-blog-party-15.html

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    Replies
    1. I sure will. Thanks for the invite. Hope the recipe helps you. It's so easy

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  6. I love pumpkin and use a lot of pumpkin puree all year long. Thanks for sharing with Real Food Fridays. Pinned and twitted.

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    1. I usually on use pumpkin in the fall- more so because of my blog. I never was a great fan, but it's growing on me.

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  7. Hi Judee,
    I too prefer not to use canned pumpkin puree so I am delighted that you shared this easy to follow recipe for making pumpkin puree at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop.I am pinning and sharing this!

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  8. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I can't wait to see what you share next time!
    -Cindy

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  9. This is a great tutorial for your Pumpkin Puree, it looks wonderful! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thanks Miz Helen,
      It was so easy to make I don't know why I ever bought the canned!

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Thank you for your comment - I love the feedback and interaction