Friday, September 28, 2012

Gutting, Baking, and Pureeing a pumpkin

I know that EVERYONE knows how to gut a pumpkin.  If you've grown up in the US, you've probably been doing this since you were in diapers and your mom set you on the table to dig into the sawed open pumpkin. (Yes, I have the pictures to prove this experience)

BUT, whenever I tell people about baking our pumpkins, I get the same reaction every time.

"HOW do you do that???"

If you already know how, this post is probably not for you.  You could stay just for the pictures of the cute kids, however.:)

If baking your own pumpkin is unfamiliar to you, then hooray! You'll finally learn how to do it...and it's not hard!:)

Firstly, you'll need to round up your gang of happy and willing pumpkin gutters. My kids LOVE this! They revel in the ooey gooey seedy gunkiness.

After you have your pumpkin gutted and the seeds soaking for later baking (YUM!), you are ready to bake!

Preheat your oven to 350*. You can use a few different things to bake it on. Some use a foil lined baking sheet, and then cover the pumpkin with foil as it bakes. I use a Pyrex casserole dish with a glass lid. Regardless of what you use, you will want to grease it with coconut oil or butter.

Cut your pumpkin in half, and lay the two halves skin side up on the baking dish. Cover and pop into the oven.
Set your timer for an hour. After the hour, take the pumpkin out and pierce it in a few places with a knife. The knife should slide effortlessly into the pumpkin and be met with no resistance. If it is tough in some places, replace it into the oven for another 20 minutes or so. Remove it when it is completely tender.

Let cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, skin your pumpkin.  The skin will be very easy to remove...just peel it away!

Once the skin is removed, chunk it up and put it into a food processor or blender. Blend away!

Yes. Be jealous of my 1970's food processor:)

Blend it til it's completely smooth. You may need to add a touch of water to get it to really puree well, but don't add too much!

Now, transfer to a container.
You can keep it in the fridge for about 3-5 days. Pureed pumpkin also freezes really well! Freeze it in a ziplock bag in 1 C portions. It is very handy to have!

We LOVE pumpkin recipes in the fall. Pancakes, bread, lattes, muffins. Tasty! Try out THIS TASTY STARBUCKS KNOCK-OFF.  Or visit my friend Joyful Momma's blog, Joyful Momma's Kitchen for a delicious Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Caramel Frosting recipe....oh my yummines! I can't wait to try that this year!!

I hope this has been helpful for you! Enjoy your pumpkins! :)

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