We are so fortunate to have four diverse seasons of the year to enjoy, and, of all the seasons, fall is hands-down my favorite!  The trees show off with their vibrant colors, the morning air becomes cool and crisp, a familiar set of aromas returns, and the earth treats us with produce that we forgot we missed all year long. An old favorite of mine is pumpkin! Sure, they’re fun for carving and decorating, but the delicious inside is the best part and often wasted. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin anything and everything! Using real pumpkin seems, not only healthier, but much more festive than grabbing a can of pumpkin puree from the grocery store (which, by the way, isn’t actually pumpkin in most cases).

Unfortunately, we haven’t had great success with pumpkins in our garden – maybe it’s my not-so-green thumb or possibly the fact that my kids think a pumpkin sighting is the BEST THING ON EARTH and immediately pick them. Either way, we rely on our CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) for this fall gem.  If that’s not an option, you can easily find them at most Farmer’s Markets throughout the fall.

While this recipe takes a little time, it is well worth the stock pile of REAL pumpkin puree for you to enjoy any time! Make as much as you wish, and freeze the extra for easy access later.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

  • 3 small whole pumpkins

Preheat oven to 350.  Quarter the pumpkins or, depending on the size, you may need to slice them down further. Scrape out the seeds and the stringy goo, leaving just the “meat” of the pumpkin. I use my tablespoon for this job, but you may find that another kitchen tool works better. Clean, dry and save your seeds to roast later!

Place pumpkins slices on a cookie sheet and roast for an hour.

Check with a fork to make sure they are cooked throughout after an hour. Using your tablespoon or other choice utensil, scrape meat out of cooked pumpkin pieces leaving only the skin behind. Place pumpkin in blender or food processor until you reach desired puree consistency.

Once your pumpkin is blended, portion it out to ideal sizes for your favorite fall recipes, place in your storage container of choice, and freeze. There you have it – REAL pumpkin puree at our fingertips for use in all of your yummy pumpkin favorites!

Be on the lookout for pumpkin recipes coming soon!