Nothing says fall has arrived like the appearance of pumpkins. Carving a pumpkin is October tradition #1 around my house. Digging my hands into a pumpkin and pulling out all that gunk may be messy, but it’s a lot of fun. The gunk used to end up in the trash, but recently I’ve realized there’s a lot of goodness in that gunk. I’m learning to appreciate the inside of the pumpkin as much as I appreciate the fun, funky faces that I can make on the outside of a pumpkin.
What’s so great about the inside of a pumpkin? Once you realize how easy it is to puree your own pumpkin instead of getting it from a can, the possibilities are endless. To puree a pumpkin, follow these easy-peasy directions from allrecipes.com.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. Cover each half with foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, 1 hour, or until tender.
- Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces. Store in the freezer in freezer safe bags.
Then try using that pumpkin in one of these fabulous fall recipes.
- The classic pumpkin pie
- Spiced pumpkin bread
- Cranberry pumpkin scones
- Pumpkin spice cookies
- Super healthy quinoa pumpkin pancakes
- Pumpkin soup
Remember girls; the canned pumpkin in any recipe can easily be replaced with your own fresh or frozen pureed pumpkin.
But wait. Don’t get rid of those pumpkin seeds. They’re edible and so incredibly nutritious. Here’s what you can do with them.
- Roast pumpkin seeds for snacking
- Use those roasted pumpkin seeds for nut-free pumpkin seed pesto
- Make Alton Brown’s amazing pumpkin seed brittle
- Create a healthy salad with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top
And finally, any part of the pumpkin that didn’t get a face, end up pureed or find itself being roasted in the oven, makes great compost material. No part of my pumpkin will ever end up in the trash again!
Image: Elle C