Is anyone else as excited about fall as I am? What are you excited most about? Here in Florida, we don’t really get the beautiful scenery of changing leaves (I am sure going to miss that about California) so what I am really excited about is pumpkin… everything.
The photo below is how I feel about pumpkin. A little excessive? Maybe, but who cares? Pumpkin is so good and so festive and makes you feel all warm inside. 🙂
Honestly, there are like a million other posts from different bloggers about cooking pumpkin and mine is not that special… unless you’re here because you like me so you think my post is extra special. 🙂 (which I don’t doubt, by the way)
Anyway, I’ve got some super cool pumpkin flavored things coming up for the month of October — including a ’31 Days of Halloween Series’ with a few other really awesome bloggers. Most of my posts will include the need for pureed pumpkin so it was definitely necessary to include a post on how to make your own pumpkin puree, beforehand.
Pureeing pumpkin is ridiculously easy to make and tastes so much better than canned or tetra packed pumpkin.
Hey, want to know a secret?
You don’t have to use an actual sugar pie pumpkin to make something pumpkin flavored!! How awesome is that?
I got a Calabaza squash from our local farmer and used it as the base for all my “pumpkin” recipes. I’ve actually planted four calabaza pumpkin/squash in my garden and can’t wait to harvest them. Since pumpkin is sort of in the squash family, most squash/pumpkins can be used interchangeably. Generally I would only use the squash that has similar flesh tones as an actual pumpkin.
So next time you see an unusual colored and shaped and textured pumpkin-squash at the market or store, opt for that one and live on the wild side.
How to Puree a Pumpkin-Squash
Okay, basically you need one pumpkin or squash. Dogs are optional but unnecessary... they just make for a “awww, how cute” photo. Let’s say it all together, “Awwww, look how cute she is!”
So as I was saying… You basically need one pumpkin-squash. This one was about 8lbs. Isn’t it pretty?
Then, all you do is place a little bit of filtered water in the bottom of a heavy, glass dish (or pie pan) and place the halves flesh side down.
I cut a little slit on the top of each pumpkin to allow air flow. Roast the pumpkin for about 1 hour at 400º or until flesh part is soft.
Let your pumpkin-squash cool and scoop the soft flesh into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer into glass jars or some other container. I usually put about 2 cups in each container which make it easy when it comes time to baking something yummy.
You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or if you know you won’t use all of it at once, you can freeze them. If you are low on space in your freezer, place the pureed pumpkin-squash in freezer zip locks.
The calabaza squash-pumpkin pictured above produced a little more than 8 cups of pureed goodness and I got it for only $8!
So far I’ve made: sprouted pumpkin pancakes, coconut flour pumpkin pancakes, and a no-bake pumpkin pie (twice) from that pumpkin-squash. I’ll be trying a new recipe for soaked pumpkin oatmeal here soon.
Don’t worry, I’ll share all my recipes with you next month so stay tuned!
What is your favorite thing to cook with pumpkin? Have you ever used a squash in replacement?