|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 8 servings|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
While many people buy pumpkins purely for decoration, these gourds can also make delicious side dishes and desserts. Baked pumpkin makes a fabulous side dish with the simple addition of butter, salt, and pepper. Most pumpkin recipes begin with a pumpkin puree, which is easy to find in a can at the supermarket, but since it is easy to prepare your own, why not make a baked pumpkin puree while fresh pumpkins are in season?
Keep in mind that not all pumpkin flesh is bright orange like the canned puree. For example, a variety called "pumpkin pie" has yellower flesh and sweeter flavor than the canned. One important fact to remember is that smaller pumpkins are preferable for baking while larger ones are better for carving.
- 1 (2- to 4-pound) fresh pumpkin
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut top off the pumpkin.
Scrape out stringy membranes and seeds. (Reserve seeds to make toasted pumpkin seeds if desired.)
Cut the pumpkin into large pieces.
Place the pumpkin pieces in a roasting pan and pour 1/2 cup water into the bottom of the pan.
Cover with foil.
Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft and easily pierced with a fork.
Let cool until you can comfortably handle it. Then scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or heavy-duty blender. Discard the skin.
Pulse until evenly pureed.
Reheat if serving immediately or refrigerate and use within 3 days. The pumpkin puree may also be frozen in an airtight container or zip-top bag for 10 to 12 months.
- Choose smaller pumpkins weighing 2 to 4 pounds for eating purposes. Overly-large pumpkins tend to be dry and stringy.
- An ice cream scooper is a useful tool when removing the seeds and membrane from inside the pumpkin.
- Adding spices will create a variety of different flavors to your pureed pumpkin. To make a savory pumpkin puree, add butter, salt, and pepper to taste to the pumpkin puree. If you would like a sweeter side dish, add a bit of brown sugar. This dish is a great menu substitution for mashed potatoes (and is healthier).
- For a pumpkin pie puree, add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar to the pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie spice blend may be substituted for the spices if you wish.
Recipes Using Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree may be best known for the main ingredient in pumpkin pie, but this vegetable can be incorporated into so many other recipes, from soup to pasta sauce to pancakes. Use your homemade pumpkin puree to make a better-than-Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, a pumpkin spicy queso dip (perfect for fall football), or even a vegetarian three-cheese lasagna, a hearty dish the whole family will love.