Stop wasting your money at Starbucks on pumpkin bread. Start baking with homemade pumpkin puree. It couldn’t be easier.
Sugar pumpkins are an excellent choice for cooking and baking. These smaller squashes have a firm, sweet flesh and are only about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. These particular pumpkins are great for roasting and turning into puree. They have a more pronounced flavor and their firmer and less stringy flesh roasts up to a much more pleasant consistency than that of a larger pumpkin. Pure pumpkin puree is incredibly healthy for you. Running about 50 calories for 1 cup and packed with vital antioxidants, and vitamins. Homemade pumpkin puree is a win-win-win. Tastes great, healthy, and easy to prepare.
So, leave those large decorative pumpkins for carving jack-o-lanterns and pick up some sugar pumpkins for baking. Your homemade pumpkin will impress, and make your Starbuck going friends jealous. Note: If you are preparing a recipe that calls for a 15oz can of pumpkin puree use 1 3/4 cups of this homemade pumpkin puree instead.
Some fun pumpkin recipes coming soon! In the meantime, give these pumpkin bars a try.
- 2 small ripe sugar pumpkins, about 1.5-2 lbs each
- Cut the stems off the pumpkins.
- Cut the pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Save the seeds to roast later. Note: I like to use an ice cream scoop for this step.
- Cut each pumpkin in half, then in half again. You should have 8 pieces.
- Roast cut side up at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. They should be light golden brown and easily pierced with a fork when done.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the pumpkin skin using a pairing knife. Be sure to scrape the skin with a knife to remove any additional pumpkin flesh.
- Discard the skins and add the pumpkin to a food processor or powerful blender. Puree for several minutes until smooth. You may have to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your food processor. Note: Not all pumpkins are the same. Some can be watery and some can be dry. Mine were a bit dry, so I added 2 tbsp of water to the pumpkin as I pureed it. It is just what it needed. If your puree is too watery, you should strain it in a cheesecloth (a fine mesh strainer or a coffee filter will also work) to get rid of some of the liquid.
- Use immediately, store in your refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 6 months.
This recipe yields 3 cups of pumpkin puree. Note: If you are preparing a recipe that calls for a 15oz can of pumpkin puree use 1 3/4 cups of this homemade pumpkin puree instead.