Fall is here, or as I like to call it, Pumpkin Season. The smell of baked pumpkin has been filling my kitchen ever since they started popping out at the market, so I set my mind on making a lot of recipe starring it. And since not only I can`t find canned pumpkin puree in Romania but even if I would, that wouldn`t be very Clean Eating, I decided to make a new tutorial for you guys, on How to make Pumpkin Puree from scratch. You`ll want to get behind this, since for the next weeks, I will be sharing delicious and healthy recipes that call for pumpkin puree. Ready? Go!
If you`ve been shopping lately, you must have noticed the pumpkin invasion on the market. And unlike other years, here in Romania we have all kinds of new varieties of pumpkin to choose from. When I decided to write this post I was overwhelmed by how many types of pumpkin there are and the differences between them. So when I went shopping, I got one from each and baked it, so that I can give you a proper analysis on the matter. You`re welcome! These are the pumpkins I bought:
The Kabocha (the Jap) or how I like to call it-The Green one, is extra creamy so it`s great for soups. I loved it because it was sweet and smelled delicious, even before baking it. Just slicing this bad boy was enough to release a very fresh and aromatic scent.
The long and yelowish one is the butternut squash. We love to bake it and serve it with cinnamon. The downside to it is that it takes longer to bake, about 90 minutes compared to 60 minutes for the others. But, it`s totally worth it! It`s super sweet and and tasty.
The orange one is the classic sugar pumpkin, the one used for making pie filling. Easy to bake and sweet as honey, you will love it, as does everyone.
Also, if you must know, the pumpkin is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g of pumpkin provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Moreover, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals (copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus) and vitamins (B complex, A, C and E). Pumpkin features high levels of vitamin-A, a powerful natural anti-oxidant that is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A may help human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers. So, hello healthy deliciousness!
So, in the interest of science I started baking these healthy and delicious pumpkins, tasting them, and in the end choosing what I thought was the best type for puree.
I know you know how to set up your working table, but bare with me. I love how photogenic this kambocha pumpkin is. So, you start by washing the pumpkins thoroughly. I don`t remove the skin before baking so the washing part is super important.
Then I take the biggest knife I have, cut the top of the pumpkin and then cut in half. Depending on the size of the pumpkin I then cut in quarters or small slices. Be careful to have similar width, so that all the slices bake at the same time. I then use a spoon to scoop out or scrape the seeds and pulp from the center. You can keep the seeds for roasting. Yummm!
Congrats! You now have beautiful seedless and pulp-free pumpkin slices ready for baking!
Place the pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet in an oven tray, face down or up, and bake for about 60 minutes at 356 degrees F or until fork tender. It should look like this:
I then let it cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, just enough to be able to pick it up and work it. And by working it I mean removing the skin with a spoon.
But before I did that, I tasted each type of pumpkin and, considering the flavor and texture, I decided to go with the Kabocha Pumpkin for my puree. I know what you`ll say: It`s too creamy and sugar pumpkin is perfect for recipes. But I liked it more! And I think you will too!
Back at the recipe! Put the pumpkin chunks in a food processor or blender and give it a few pulses. You could probably do it with a fork. I mean it. Super creamy this Kabocha Pumpkin. Some varieties are not creamy enough so you will have to add a tablespoon of water or two. Or in some instances, the pumpkin puree will be watery. Worry not! All you have to do is drain it with the help of a cheesecloth. But not the case here.
Soooo, was it easy or what? I told you, piece of cake! Literally so sweet that it could be a piece of cake. And it will be. Soon.
Use this tutorial to prepare your own Pumpkin puree, the healthy, clean eating version of the canned one. You can use it for pancakes, muffins, pies, cookies, soups, savory recipes and much more. If you won`t use it on the spot, refrigerate it for later. If you`ll freeze it, make sure to use plastic bags, and get all the air out of it, before sealing.
Let me know if you make this (by tagging your photos with #broccoliandmuffins @broccoliandmuffins on Facebook and Instagram) and stay tuned for the next pumpkin recipes! Also, below the recipe find enclosed a Pin-able photo!
- 1 Kabocha Pumpkin
- Preheat the oven at 356 degrees F.
- Wash the pumpkin thoroughly. I don`t remove the skin before baking so the washing part is important.
- Cut the top of the pumpkin and then cut in half. Depending on the size of the pumpkin I then cut in quarters or small slices. Be careful to have similar sizes, so that all the slices bake at the same time.
- Using a spoon, scoop out or scrape the seeds and pulp from the center. You can keep the seeds for roasting.
- Place the pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet in an oven tray, face down or up and bake for about 60 minutes at 356 degrees F or until fork tender.
- Let the pumpkin slices cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.
- Remove the skin from the pumpkin pieces, with a spoon or even a knife.
- Put the pumpkin chunks in a food processor or blender and give it a few pulses, until it reaches a puree consistency.
You can use the pumpkin puree for pancakes, muffins, pies, cookies, soups or savory recipes.
If you won`t use it on the spot, refrigerate it for later.
If you`ll freeze it, make sure to use plastic bags, and get all the air out of it, before sealing