Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pumpkin Puree

If you have any pumpkins left over from Halloween that haven't been carved, you should seriously consider doing what I started doing last year: Make your own pureed pumpkin. It is wonderfully delicious in all kinds of recipes. Last year it made me feel so good to use as much of our pumpkins as I possibly could--the meat and the seeds--and thereby also be very cost effective. It was somewhat of a time commitment, but simple to do, and I found it worth it.

As I recall, we tried pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes, which were excellent, but our favorite recipe (surprisingly) was Creamy Pumpkin Soup.

If you've never made your own pumpkin puree (which will keep for a while in the freezer if you make too big of a batch), here are directions:
  1. Select a ripe and firm medium pumpkin. Larger pumpkins can be used, but they begin to take on a grainy texture the larger they get.
  2. Cut open the pumpkin and remove the seeds and fibrous strings.
  3. Cut the pumpkin into four to eight pieces.
  4. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil. This will minimize the cleanup task.
  5. Place the pumpkin pieces onto the baking pan.
  6. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for one to 1 1/2 hours, or until pulp is soft.
  7. Remove the pulp from the rind with a spoon and discard the rind.
  8. Blend the pulp until smooth using a blender, food processor or mixer.
I also learned the following nutrition facts about a simple, ordinary pumpkin:
  • No cholesterol.
  • Low in fat.
  • Low in sodium.
  • Particularly rich in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. "Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging." (quoted from this informational site)
  • A good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus.
  • A very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. (quoted from Nutrition Data)
I love that something so good for you is also so delicious and versatile!

1 comment:

Rob & Emily Willardson Family said...

Yummy!! I would like to try this. Our pumpkins were rotten by the time Halloween came, but I just might have to go buy another, just to try it!


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