Pumpkins – How to make puree & recipes!

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I have never baked pumpkins and made puree before, so I did some research and found some instructions on the internet.  Now I need to go shopping and see if I can find some “cheap” pumpkins!  I thought I’d post the instructions here for others who may want to give this a try.


Baking the seeds. Start by cutting the top of the pumpkin off and pulling out all of the seeds.  Remove all the seeds and put them in a bowl of water.  Try to get off as much of the stringy stuff as you can.

Next put the pumpkin seeds in a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. You can add some salt to the water if you want, then you won’t have to add as much salt to the seeds when you bake them. Once the water is boiling, allow to continue boiling for about 30-45 minutes.  The seeds should start to change color when they are done.  When that happens then you know they are ready to be baked.

After the seeds are done boiling, the seeds need to be drained and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the seeds with some salt if you want.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (you can test the seeds to see when they are done).

Making the puree.  You can cook the pumpkin whole or cut into sections and place face down on a baking sheet with sides.  Add some water to the bottom of the baking sheet – enough to cover the bottom.  Bake the pumpkin at 375 degrees F for 1 hour (or until the inside is soft). Remove from the oven and drain any excess water. Scrape any remaining “stringy stuff” from the pumpkin.

Scrape the meat away from the skin and put it in a blender or food processor. Once in the blender puree the pumpkin until there are no more lumps. The end product will be nice and smooth.

Now transfer your pumpkin puree into freezer bags or containers and store in your freezer.  You can store in 2-cup portions or in whatever portions you will mostly use in recipes.

Now you are ready to do some baking! You can try my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (find recipes here and here), or try the Pumpkin Spice Muffins here!  (which we LOVE for breakfast) or look through this huge list of pumpkin recipes here.

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  1. Sheri, You nailed it on the head when you say "search" for inexpensive pumpkins! Our grocery pumpkins are quite expensive. Did you find in your online research any mention of differences between varieties of pumpkins for cooking and carving? My mom always said the variety grown for jack-o-lanterns is not suitable for cooking, being watery and stringy. She always looked for Cinderella or other varieties specifically grown for baking and pureeing. Me, I found the process too cost prohibitive unless my father-in-law gave us cooking pumpkins from his garden; otherwise, I have just always used the plain canned stuff off the shelf.
    1. I totally agree..unless you grow your own pumpkins or know somewhere you can get them for very cheap, it is hardly worth the work :). I just have fond memories of roasted pumpkin seeds :).
  2. Aldi had HUGE pumpkins on sale for $2.99 yesterday - I almost bought a few. I think I'll probably get some on my next trip... jack'o'laterns, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin puree here I come! Thanks for sharing this "how-to" post!

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