Pumpkins – in my mind they were purchased once a year, for Halloween, carved-to-order and thrown out on November 1st.

I would pat myself on the back as I roasted the seeds (how industrious!) and never gave much thought to the rest.

And then I made my own pumpkin puree. It was exciting enough to purchase a pumpkin for the purpose of actually eating it. Which, looking back, I don’t understand. I mean, I love all other winter squash, so why not pumpkin?

Prep time was less than 10 minutes – the rest of time spent unattended in the oven. A quick whirl in the food processor and done.

It literally elevated the color, flavor and texture of every recipe that I had previously used the canned stuff in. Brighter, cleaner, more…pumpkin-y.

Best of all, it freezes beautifully .

I’ll be posting a few recipes that feature pumpkin puree, to get you started. Can you use the canned puree if you like? Absolutely. Will I use the canned puree when pumpkins are not so readily available? Sure.

But try this once – either in the recipes I’ll be sharing here or in one of your own.

Let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Puree
from Food For My Family

3-4 lb. pumpkin, halved and all seeds and strings removed (reserve seeds for roasting, below)
1 c. water

Preheat the oven to 350. In a 9×13 baking dish, place pumpkin halves, cut side down. Add water. Bake for one hour or until flesh is soft.

Scoop the pumpkin flesh out and place into a blender or food processor. Blend, pulsing until the purée is smooth and uniform in texture. If desired, strain through a cheesecloth to remove excess moisture. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to three days and in the freezer for up to three months.

Makes 2 to 3 cups pumpkin purée.

Here’s a great recipe for the seeds……………

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds

For every 1 c. seeds:
1 T. melted butter
1 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
pinch salt

Combine and bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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