How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Are you one of the millions of people that purchased a fall pumpkin (or five) this holiday season for some festive fall decor? If you answered yes and you’re thinking about throwing it away because it’s no longer useful, wait a second! Listen to this—pumpkins are actually edible! You can use pumpkins to create a delicious pumpkin puree and incorporate it into a variety of delicious recipes—pumpkin latte, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin hummus, pies, smoothies, veggie patties and more—to share with your friends and family. Not only are you making good use of the pumpkins, but you can also concoct a variety of nutritious, plant-based recipes. So, what’s edible in the pumpkin? Interesting enough, the entire pumpkin is edible. Although I’ll be sharing my secret to making a fresh pumpkin puree, I also wanted to share that you can roast and season the pumpkin seeds—making the seeds inside the shell edible and delicious (so don’t throw out those seeds!). You might be thinking that making a pumpkin puree sounds tedious, however, it’s actually so simple and can be done in just a few steps; all you need is that pumpkin and some spirit!

To make Fresh Pumpkin Puree, this is what you’ll need:

1 medium pumpkin
2 tablespoons melted dairy-free margarine or vegetable oil (try avocado or walnut oil!), if desired (optional)
Salt (optional)
Large knife
Cutting board
Baking sheet to roast the pumpkin
Large bowl
Masher (potato masher)
Immersion blender (or high power blender)

How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Step-By-Step Guide:

Preheat your oven to 375. Grab a medium-sized pumpkin and wash the outside surface. Place it on a cutting board and gather a large knife.
Cut the pumpkin in half down the middle, from the stem to the bottom, without getting the knife too close to your fingers. One helpful tip is to hold down the top of the pumpkin near the stem with a dish towel for more stability.
Grab a large metal spoon and scoop out the “guts” — the stringy parts and the pumpkin seeds — found inside of the pumpkin. Save the seeds for roasting!
Slice each cleaned pumpkin half in half again to make quarters.
Cut the pumpkin quarters into smaller pieces.
Place the pieces of pumpkin on the baking sheet.
Pour water in the bottom of the baking sheet, just enough to create about ½-inch of water at the bottom of the sheet.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of melted margarine or vegetable oil (avocado or walnut oil is a great choice!) over the pumpkin pieces, if desired. (This is an optional step.)
Sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired (optional).
Roast the pumpkin slices in the oven at 375F for about 40 minutes until tender. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Scoop out the tender pumpkin flesh from the peel from each slice of pumpkin, and place the pumpkin flesh in a large bowl.
Mash the pumpkin with a potato masher to soften the pumpkin.
Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender) to puree the pumpkin until it is smooth and creamy. Do not add any additional liquid, it should be the consistency of applesauce.
Pour the pumpkin puree into covered containers and chill until serving time. Store the containers in the refrigerator and use up within one week, or alternatively place in the freezer to use later. A medium pumpkin (about 6-7 pounds) makes about 6 cups of pumpkin puree.

This fresh, home-made pumpkin puree contains no preservatives or sugar, and it is absolutely delicious! So use it up quickly and enjoy it in some of my favorite recipes, such as soups, smoothies, cookies, cakes, bread, muffins, pies, veggie patties, and energy bites. If you freeze it, you can turn to these recipes all year long! Use pumpkin puree to replace canned pumpkin in your favorite recipes.

My favorite recipes that use pumpkin puree:

Spicy Pumpkin Black Bean Burgers
Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites
Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Seeds
Real Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte
Smoky Pumpkin Hummus
Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
Pumpkin Spice Orange Smoothie

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