Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

I finally got around to roasting that pumpkin. Actually, I've got 4 pumpkins, so I got around to roasting 1 of my pumpkins. I fully plan on roasting another, but my FoodSaver bit the dust. A FoodSaver, for those of you not familiar, is a home appliance that allows you to vacuum-seal pretty much any thing you want. It's how I buy all my meat in bulk, and how I turn a big pot of soup into multiple meals. Ours has been on its last legs for a couple of months now. In September, the latch on it broke so much that we have to hold one side of the appliance down in order to seal anything. And just last week, the motor finally went out. So the darn thing won't even suck now, and you have to use the weight of the whole world to hold the contraption down if you want to seal up a bag of chips. It's been frustrating. The hubby and I were talking, and we figured out the FoodSaver is the kitchen appliance that is used the most. Not the stand mixer. Not the food processor. Not the toaster, or the microwave, or the oven. The only appliance that comes close in terms of usage is the coffee maker. Even the coffee maker is in second place though, because I only use it once a day. I use the FoodSaver multiple times every day. I seal almost every bag I open. And it seems I'm always making broth, soup, purees, sauces, etc. that need to be vacuum-sealed and frozen. 

So I'm in a holding pattern presently when it comes to stocking my freezer. I'm trying not to prepare anything that has to be vacuum-sealed, and I'm trying to keep my cool when sealing anything. But only temporarily. My wonderful, generous parents were planning on getting us a new FoodSaver for Christmas, and thankfully, they are sending it to us early! It should be here soon (within the next couple of days) so until then, I'm holding off on making anything that needs to be sealed. And that includes homemade pumpkin puree!

I've been buying canned pumpkin for years. Just like everything else that I'd never considered making homemade, like chicken broth, salsa, taco seasoning, hummus... you get the picture. However, the hubby's aunt gave me 4 pumpkins, so I figured it was finally time to experiment with pumpkin. My parents have been making their own pumpkin puree for years, which they actually feed to their dog. Did you know pumpkin puree is good for their coats, and possibly might make a finicky eater gobble up their dry kibble? Good stuff for pups. My teeny chihuahuas have a tendency to gain weight, so unfortunately, pumpkin is not in their future. It is in mine though! I roasted that smaller, wartier pumpkin and ended up with 6 cups of pumpkin puree. Not bad for such a small pumpkin. I got these pumpkins for free, so much more economical than buying canned pumpkin. Plus, no chemicals from an aluminum can making their way into my puree.

Preparing the pumpkin is easy-peasy. You really just slice the pumpkin into quarters, scoop out the innards and seeds (reserving seeds for roasting!), and then toss the quarters into the oven. 1 hour later,  boom, you're done. Scoop out the roasted pumpkin, puree until smooth, and voila! Homemade pumpkin puree. It doesn't get any easier. Not only did I freeze a bunch of puree for later, I kept about a cup out that I'm going to make Pumpkin Milkshakes with. I've also got a recipe picked out for the next pumpkin. I'll be using a good portion of that one to make Turkey Pumpkin Chili. 

In home health care news, I'm feeling better. The mysterious sore throat comes and goes, but is mostly gone. The horrendous cough has subsided about 90%. And energy? It's coming back, albeit slowly. The hubby's cold never seemed to get as bad as mine, indeed he is almost 100% already. The nerve of his immune system.  The hubby just finished up a run of night shifts, so he's got a couple days off before he goes back to day shift, and we are taking full advantage. We had a lunch date at the local brewery yesterday, and today promises to be movie day. We love having a weekend in the middle of the week :)

Hope everyone is having a great week! Happy Wednesday!

Ingredients (amount prepared depends on pumpkin size):

1 pumpkin


1. Cut top off of pumpkin. Slice pumpkin into quarters. Scoop out seeds and membrane using a spoon. Cut pumpkin into smaller wedges, if desired. 
2. Preheat oven to 350º. When heated, place pumpkin wedges on a cookie sheet. Roast pumpkin in the oven for 45 minutes- 1 hour. Bake time depends on size of pumpkin. Pumpkin is done when wedges are browned, soft, and easily pull away from the pumpkin skin.
3. Peel pumpkin skin off and place wedges in a food processor. Pulse until smooth, or desired texture.  Store puree in the fridge for up to one week, or freeze.

Looking for recipes to use pumpkin puree in? Try these!

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