What to do with those pumpkins?

I planted one pumpkin seed this year and had a pumpkin explosion.  I harvested at least eight big pumpkins.

This past weekend, I decided to cook five of them down and make puree, then freeze.  It’s easy but time consuming….. but WORTH IT!

pumpkin puree homemade

Get yourself a nice big knife.  I cut the tops off and slice right down the center (remember to wash your pumpkins first – I forgot with this one and had to wash after cutting).  Take all the “guts” out and then salt it.processing pumpkinsOne thing about the squash family – they are full of water.  You want to pull as much water as you can out so that you can get some great flavor.  The salt aids in pulling the water out.

Next, lay them face down on some parchment and put in the oven – 400 degrees for about 40 minutes (can be over an hour if they are large).  Most of mine took about an hour to roast.  When you can stick a fork in them and they are nice and soft, they are done.

roasted pumpkin

Lay a side out, and scrape out the meat with a spoon.  This is what you end up with.cooked pumpkin

Run it through a food processor quickly until it is a nice puree.

Next, place the puree into a strainer of some sort.  I use my chinois.  I left each batch sit for about an hour and drain.

strain pumpkin puree

The leftover pumpkin juice is good to put into smoothies for extra vitamins and such…. we will give some to our farm animals in their feed.  We also give all the scraps, “guts” of the pumpkins, etc. to our chickens.  I hate to waste, and they love the treats!

pumpkin juice

Once the puree is finished draining, I put into plastic containers – about 1-3/4 cups of puree equals a 15 oz can of pumpkin.  I will be using this to make pumpkin bread (which I did this weekend – look out for that recipe!), pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, etc.  This puree freezes very well in these containers and is good for months!

freeze pumpkin puree

Don’t forget to roast the pumpkin seeds!

roasted pumpkin seeds

 

Ready for the pumpkin bread recipe?  I have it here!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread