Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

How To Roast Pumpkin for Puree or Sandwich Filling

Making your own pumpkin puree from scratch is so simple – and so fast- you may wonder why you don’t do it more often. If only pumpkins could be obtained year round instead of just for the month of October.

There are 2 ways you can make it:

1. By steaming the pumpkin chunks, or

2. By roasting the pumpkin chunks.

Here we're showing you step by step how to make Pumpkin Puree from scratch by the roasting method.

Fresh pumpkin is tasty and much healthier than the canned alternative. It’s also fairly easy to make pumpkin puree from scratch and you can freeze portions to use at a later date, making it a cost effective option for pumpkin puree.

Start thinking of pumpkin breads and pies...I can smell that spicy goodness now.

How To Make Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

What you'll need:

The only ingredient you need is a fresh pumpkin.

But before you get started, put some hot soapy water in your sink for quick hand washing with a towel nearby. Set out a cutting board, a heavy cleaver or sharp knife, and a metal spoon for scraping, and have a few large, flat baking sheets handy.

Later on you'll need a blender, NutriBullet, or hand mixer to puree.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Wash and rinse the outside of the pumpkin well.

3. Cut the pumpkin in half. Use a heavy cleaver, for big pumpkins you can use an axe or hatchet (clean it first), or use a heavy sharp knife. Exercise caution for safety, and protect the counter top or work surface.

4. Using a heavy metal spoon, scoop out all the seeds and loose pulp around the seeds. Save and put aside for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

5. When the pumpkin is scraped clean, cut it into smaller pieces. Cut each half into smaller more manageable pieces, then cut each of those into roasting size pieces.

6. Place all the pieces of pumpkin on a large baking sheet, spacing them in one layer.

7. Bake for about in pre-heated oven, 1 hour at 350F.

Bake until a fork can easily pierce the flesh of the pumpkin. The skins and flesh of the pumpkin will be fairly soft when they are done.

8. The pumpkin pieces are done when a fork can easily pierce the flesh of the pumpkin.

9. Remove Skins

Let cool until you can safely handle the pieces. With a smaller knife, remove the skins from the flesh.

Remove the skins from the pumpkin pieces and set the flesh aside.

10. Now you’re ready to puree your pumpkin. You can use a food processor, a NutriBullet, a blender, or even a hand blender if you prefer.  

Puree until smooth.

Your puree is ready to use! If you wish it to be thicker or firmer, place it in a strainer set over a bowl for a few hours or overnight. This is recommended if you are using it for a pie filling or wish to dehydrate it into fruit leather.

DIs-card the juice or add it to a smoothie.

Your puree is now ready to use.

Long Term Storage: Store in freezer bags in the freezer for longer term storage. Try to freeze it in recipe size portions, like you would for mashed bananas for Banana Bread.  For instance, If your favorite recipe calls for 2 cups of pumpkin puree, then freeze in in 2 cup portions. To thaw, leave in refrigerator overnight.

I also like to eat pumpkin as a vegetable, so I freeze it in chunk size portions just as they come out of the oven. Freeze them on the baking sheets as is before placing in freezer bags so you can remove just the number of portions you want. They’re good to add to smoothies, too.

According to University of Minnesota Extension department, freezing is the only safe method for preserving pumpkin purees, butters and preserves.

Here are some tips from them.

"Freezing

Freezing is the only safe method for preserving pumpkin purees, butters and preserves....

Freeze these items for up to one year. Frozen pumpkin or squash is great to use in pies, desserts and as a vegetable. Thaw pumpkin and squash in the refrigerator - not on the counter - before using."

If you want to can pumpkin, here are their instructions which MUST be followed closely and accurately as with other low acid foods. Do NOT can pumpkin puree.

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