Linus van Pelt was right. There really is a great pumpkin. It might not be a in the form of a mysterious character that comes to the pumpkin patch on Halloween as the little guy wishes but pumpkins are certainly great. Loaded with cancer and heart disease preventing Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, pumpkins are one of the most nutritious vegetables you can give your family. A simple pumpkin puree can be used in almost anything from a pasta sauce, risotto, bread, oatmeal, cookies, pancakes, and even your kids favorite Rice Krispie treats (recipe coming soon). Take advantage of this pumpkin season and grab yourself a great pumpkin today!
Simple Pumpkin Puree for baby 6 months+ and everyone else
makes 2 cups
- 1 pumpkin, choose a pie or sugar pumpkin
Preheat oven to 400°. With a very sharp knife, slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. A serrated grapefruit spoon works great for this.
I love how water seeps from pumpkin and squash after you cut it. It’s purrrdy.
Place both halves face down on a baking sheet. I cover my baking sheets with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the meat of the pumpkin with a spoon and place the “meat” in a food processor or blender.
Puree for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth.
Serve plain or add a dash of cinnamon (spices are recommended for babies 8 months and older). For baby, also try adding a teaspoon of rosemary or sage to a puree or try adding 3/4 cup of cold chicken while pureeing a whole pumpkin. Apples, peaches, pork, and ginger are also great pairings with pumpkin in a puree. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. For easy storage, freeze in an ice-cube tray and once frozen store cubes in freezer bags. Each cube is an ounce and is so easy to grab and throw in a bowl of oatmeal!
Other uses for pumpkin:
Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice the pumpkin in wedges and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and brown sugar. Place in a 400° oven for 40 minutes. This is a great treat for the kiddos and if you forget to add the cinnamon and sugar before cooking, like I did pictured above, you can always add it after cooking. Hey, we’re not all perfect.
Ginger Pumpkin Bread, from Everyday Food, published October 2006
This is by far one of our family’s favorite fall recipes. When the whether changes it is the second thing that the husband hints at, the first being Chicken and Hatch Chile Stew. Thankfully, I found the recipe on-line so I don’t have to type it out for you and you can just print it off. Some changes that I’ve made to this over the years is adding fresh pureed pumpkin, which really does make a difference, and 1 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg. It’s seriously the best pumpkin bread recipe that I’ve ever had. Find the recipe here: Ginger Pumpkin Bread.