Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Great Pumpkin: Pumpkin Puree

It's finally here! It's that time of year where you can smell apples in the air. Where you can wear a light jacket outside. Where you can reap the harvest of your garden. This, my friends, is autumn!
Even got out the fall decorations
I cannot express how much I adore this season. It's just so pleasant to every sense of the body: feeling warm sun with a brisk wind, seeing vibrant mums and gourds, hearing crunching leaves, smelling rich spices, and let's not forget taste. Oh, the delectable recipes that come out this time of year!

A large staple in all of these recipes is my favorite gourd in the world: the great pumpkin. This is the third time around now where I plan to convince everyone to add some pumpkin to their lives. I love pumpkin so much that we actually attempted our first pumpkin patch this year! I'm happy to report it was a great success! Who knew three little seeds would go so far.

In case you are a new reader, you can catch up on how your body can benefit from some pumpkin. You can also stop by my pinterest recipe page to check out some nifty pumpkin recipes. The base of most of these recipes is pumpkin puree; which you can easily find your grocery store. One interesting fact is that central Illinois is home of a large Libby's pumpkin cannery. Visiting the Pumpkin Festival in Morton, Illinois, was one of of fall traditions before we moved to Kentucky.

You can easily make your own pumpkin puree though at home. All you need is to pick up some adorable pie pumpkins!
Pie pumpkins from Wurth Farms
Now pie pumpkins are not your average jack o' lantern gourd. They are a bit smaller, but have less seeds and a thicker flesh. They also have a nice sweetness to them. All of these factors make it perfect in the kitchen. It just takes a little bit of work. First you need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then you should line a baking sheet with tin foil and dab on a little bit of olive oil.

While the oven is heating up, slice the pumpkins in half before digging out the seeds.
Feel free to save & roast the seeds with this recipe
Then place them cut side down on a baking sheet & cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Take out & allow to cool.
Roasted pumpkin: yum!
After it is cool enough to hold, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted flesh. Place in a blender.
Cooking the pumpkin makes this step a lot easier
Simply puree the pumpkin and place in a jar. You cannot can pureed pumpkin but you can freeze it!
Can I just say I LOVE Ball's freeze jars?!
There you have it: pumpkin puree! You can use this for any of your pumpkin recipes whether it's pumpkin french toast paired with a pumpkin latte, pumpkin chowder, pumpkin pecan pie, or even something special for your pets or a pumpkin scrub to spoil your skin. There are tons of ways to use and enjoy this special gourd.