How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Forget the canned stuff, learn how to make your own homemade pumpkin purée from scratch. It takes just one simple ingredient and less than an hour to make!

Homemade pumpkin puree in a glass dish surrounded by a black spoon, black and white checked napkin and a small bowl of ground cinnamon.

The recent pumpkin spice-everything craze has made it hard to ignore the rows and rows of canned pumpkin that pop up on grocery store shelves once summer starts coming to a close. I’ll be the first to admit that I love pumpkin so much I’ve been known to stock up on it right after the holidays to get me through the better part of a year.

But what if you could easily make your own and store it in the freezer to have ready to go at a moment’s notice? It’s easier than you think, and today I’m going to tell you all about it!

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Since I’ve become a mom, having some pumpkin purée on hand has become even more important as I love using it as a way of sneaking some extra nutrients into my little one’s diet. It’s super easy to mix into baked goods like pancakes, donuts, muffins and breads to up the healthiness factor. Not only does pumpkin have loads of Vitamin A, it’s also rich in antioxidants and can boost immunity – and it’s tasty to boot!

Pumpkin’s sweeter flavor is often appreciated by tiny eaters so if you have kids, take advantage of it and add some pumpkin to their diet. I’ll give you some great recipe ideas below.

An overhead shot of a glass bowl of pumpkin puree surrounded by a black and white checked napkin, a spoon, cinnamon sticks and a bowl of ground cinnamon.

What You Need to Make Pumpkin Purée

Perhaps the most exciting thing about making your own pumpkin purée (besides having it on hand to use whenever you want) is that you need next to nothing to make it. We’re talking one ingredient and a couple of common kitchen appliances/utensils. That’s my kind of recipe!

Here’s what you’re going to want to gather up before you start cooking:

A baking pumpkin
A knife and cutting board
A jelly roll pan
Aluminum foil
A food processor

That’s it! Well, you’re also going to need an oven, but I’m hoping you’ve already got one of those on hand 😉

How to Make It

The first step in making the perfect homemade pumpkin purée is to cook your pumpkin. To make the process go a bit faster, you’ll go ahead and cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and wrap each half in aluminum foil to really seal in some steam from the oven.

After just 30 minutes baking away (and a little bit of cooling time) your cooked pumpkin will be scooped into the food processor – sans skin – and puréed until smooth. I mean, could it be any simpler?? No oil, no butter, no liquid, no nothing. Just good ol’ pumpkin to make all your fall baking dreams come true.

An overhead shot of homemade pumpkin puree in a food processor.

How to Use Homemade Pumpkin Purée

Oh let me count the ways! There are so many great uses for homemade pumpkin purée. Here are just a few ideas:

In some super-simple muffins

In a twist on Shepherd’s Pie

In an adults-only latté

In a healthy smoothie

Or a cozy coffee cake

To add some extra sweetness to marinara sauce

Or in ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls.

Even in a spicy curry!

The possibilities are endless.

Get the easy recipe for homemade pumpkin purée below. For more pumpkin inspiration, be sure to check out my Fall Foodie Ideas board on Pinterest (so many delicious recipes I’m dying to try) or sign up for my weekly newsletter where I’ll be sending out all the fun fall content in the coming weeks!

Homemade Pumpkin Purée
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Forget the canned stuff, learn how to make your own homemade pumpkin purée from scratch. It takes just one simple ingredient and less than an hour to make!

Course: Condiment, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baking, condiment, fall, homemade, pumpkin
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 12 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 baking pumpkin May also be called a Sugar Pie pumpkin
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally and scoop out all the seeds.

  3. Tear two pieces of aluminum foil that are each large enough to wrap around one half of the pumpkin. Wrap each pumpkin half, sealing the aluminum foil as much as possible.

  4. Place wrapped pumpkin halves on the jelly roll pan.

  5. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until you can easily squeeze the pumpkin halves with tongs. You want the pumpkin to be soft enough that you can scoop it out of the skin.

  6. Let pumpkin halves cool for at least 10 minutes, or until they are cool enough to touch.

  7. Scoop the inside of the pumpkin into the food processor, discard the skin and foil.

  8. Turn the food processor on and process until smooth.

Recipe Notes

Purée can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Use as a substitute in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.

Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait

This Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait is just as suitable as a healthy dessert as it is as a wholesome breakfast. Coconut milk chia pudding, thick passion fruit puree and homemade haupia all come together in a single dish. You won’t be able to stop eating this tasty treat!

Two dishes of Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait topped with pink flowers.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is finding new foods and dishes that inspire me to get in the kitchen and create my own special version of them. On any typical vacation, I’ll probably come home with at least two ideas of recipes I want to recreate on my own. It’s one of the reasons I love traveling so much – there’s nothing like it to broaden my imagination and get my home-cooking skills flowing again as soon as I get home.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, chances are you noticed we took a little trip to visit my cousin and her new baby in Kauai at the end of July. While the great majority of our vacation was spent hanging out in our beautiful vacation rental and lounging by the pool with our babes, we did manage to get out for a few tasty treats.

There’s a small local market close to where we stay in Poipu that, while not fancy, is perhaps best known for the shave ice “wagon” that parks out front of it or the sushi bar inside of it. We stopped in for some Spam musubi one day on our way home from the beach, and my cousin came out with a Mason jar full of what looked to me like the dreamiest (and tastiest) chia pudding concoction I’d ever seen in my life:

A Mason jar of coconut chia pudding layered with haupia and passion fruit puree.

Coconut chia pudding was layered in between passion fruit puree and creamy haupia, and as soon as I tasted a bite of it I casually informed her that she better eat however much of it that she wanted FAST, because otherwise I would 😉

Lucky for me (and for little Raia, who couldn’t get enough of it!) she was more than generous with sharing and I was able to savor each bite just enough so I’d remember how to make my own at home. Lucky for you, I’m sharing that homemade recipe with you today!

There are a few things that go into this Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait, but no step is too difficult. Just remember that you’ll want to start the process a day before you want to serve it, as both the haupia and the chia pudding need to set up in the fridge overnight. It’s also good to give the passion fruit puree some time to set up in the fridge since you’ll be heating it thicken it up.

Here’s how the process goes:

Step 1: Make the haupia.

Full disclosure, this was the first time I’d made haupia from scratch, and I was blown away by how easy it was! I used this recipe from Tasting Table, which involves just four ingredients:

Cornstarch
Water
Coconut milk
Sugar

It’s a quick and easy process, just boil everything together, pour it into a baking dish and refrigerate overnight. No baking or fancy temperature taking required. You can also find haupia mix packets in Asian grocery stores (or on Amazon [*affiliate link]), but after making this from-scratch recipe, I’ll tell you I never feel the need to buy the packets again!

Looking down on a dish of Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding topped with coconut chips and a pink flower.

Step 2: Make the chia pudding.

If you’ve never made chia pudding before, prepare to meet your new favorite make-ahead breakfast. All it takes is some chia seeds, coconut beverage (or milk of your choice) and some vanilla and honey. Pour everything into a Mason jar, shake and seal, then place this in your refrigerator overnight as well. Are we seeing how easy this is yet?

Step 3: Thicken up (and sweeten) some passion fruit puree.

I know, I know, you’re probably wondering where in the heck you’re going to find some passion fruit puree. But I’ve made it easy for you! You can order it on Amazon [*affiliate link], and it’s even on Prime so it will be at your doorstep in just a couple of days.

We were lucky enough to have some passion fruit puree in our freezer from a family friend that grows them, so I simply thawed that but then thickened it up on the stove with some cornstarch and a little extra sugar for sweetness. I highly recommend giving whatever puree you end up getting a taste before doing this, and only adding sugar as needed.

Step 4: Assemble, top with toasted coconut flakes and enjoy!

The next morning, your parfaits will be ready in seconds. Simply take your serving vessel (I like small Mason jars or clear parfait dishes) and start layering:

First goes the coconut chia pudding,
Then goes the passion fruit puree,
Followed by cubes of your homemade haupia,
All topped with roasted coconut strips to add the perfect crunch.

An overhead shot of a wooden spoon resting in a dish of coconut chia pudding.

If you’re looking for a special kid-friendly breakfast treat that still packs a ton of nutrition, this Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait is the answer.

And if coconut and/or passion fruit aren’t your thing, check out some of my other tasty chia pudding recipes like this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding, this Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait, and this baby-friendly Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote!

Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait
Prep Time
30 mins
Refrigerator Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 30 mins
 

This Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait is just as suitable as a healthy dessert as it is as a wholesome breakfast. Coconut milk chia pudding, thick passion fruit puree and homemade haupia all come together in a single dish. You won’t be able to stop eating this tasty treat!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: breakfast, chia, coconut, dairy-free, dessert, Hawaiian, healthy, kid-friendly, passion fruit, snack
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 570 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups diced haupia pudding Link to recipe in Notes
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla coconut beverage
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups passion fruit puree Link to purchase in Notes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • Sugar, as needed to sweeten
  • Roasted coconut chips, for topping
Instructions
  1. The night before you plan to serve the parfaits, prepare the haupia according to directions and allow to set up in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. The same night, combine chia seeds, coconut beverage and vanilla in a glass bowl with a lid and place in the refrigerator. If you can, give the bowl a shake a few times before bed to make sure the seeds are well incorporated with the coconut beverage. 

  3. You’ll also want to prepare the passion fruit puree the night before. Place the puree in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. In a small, separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, then whisk into the passion fruit puree. Continuously whisk as you add however much sugar you need, probably a few tablespoons but taste as you go. Remove puree from heat and let cool before transferring to a Mason jar or other container and refrigerating overnight.

  4. In the morning, scoop chia pudding into your serving vessels, then top with passion fruit puree, then the diced haupia. Top with toasted coconut chips and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Dish Density: Medium

Haupia pudding recipe from Tasting Table.

Passion fruit puree link to purchase [*affiliate]

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet

This recipe for Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet is so easy and requires only three ingredients. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sour and the ultimate refresher for a warm summer’s day.

An overhead shot of three servings of Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet and a bottle of Raspberry Syrup lying next to them.
This post is brought to you in partnership with my friends at Sonoma Syrup Co. Although I received compensation for this post, all thoughts and opinions are mine and I wouldn’t share them with you if I didn’t absolute love these products. Thanks for supporting the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

 

What do you get when you combine fresh raspberries, tangy Meyer lemon juice and sweet Raspberry Syrup?? The most luscious, refreshing and flavor-packed Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet! And you’re in luck, because I’m sharing the super simple recipe with you today.

Not going to lie, if I’m given the choice between ice cream and sorbet, I’ll almost always take the creamy stuff. HOWEVER, there are certainly times when I prefer the lighter, more refreshing taste of sorbet, especially when it’s homemade and I know exactly what went into it.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve been partnering with Sonoma Syrup Co. for quite some time and sharing my love for their all-natural flavored cane syrups, extracts and more. I can totally get behind a company that prides itself on quality and its use of whole foods, and that makes a product that’s not only a welcome addition to many baked goods and sweet treats, but also to cocktails.

When they challenged me to come up with a summer-y recipe featuring their Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon, I knew a homemade raspberry sorbet was exactly what I needed to make. We’ve been stuck in June gloom here in Santa Barbara for what seems like months now (which in non-Santa Barbarian speak means the overcast marine layer lasts ALL DAY), so I’m taking any excuse I can get to bring a little summer into my life.

Three clear glasses full of fresh Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet, garnished with fresh mint.

I’ve got to tell you, I could not be more thrilled about the little spark of sunshine this Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet provided for me. So let’s get to it and I’ll tell you how it’s done!

WHAT YOU NEED

You can tell from the title that you’re only going to need THREE ingredients to bring this Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet to life:

Raspberries
Meyer lemons
Sonoma Syrup Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon

That’s it!

But you’re also going to need some equipment:

A blender
A fine mesh sieve
An ice cream maker (but an 8- or 9-inch loaf pan could also work in a pinch)

[These are affiliate links.]

Once you have the ingredients and equipment ready to go, your sorbet will be ready with very little hands-on time and a little bit of patience.

A hand holding a scoop of Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet in a sugar cone.

HOW IT’S MADE

The first important step in making this easy raspberry Meyer lemon sorbet is making your raspberry puree. To do this, you’ll simply whir the raspberries in a blender until liquid, then pour the mixture through your sieve to get out all the seeds.

Many classic raspberry sorbet recipes ask you to make your own “simple syrup” out of sugar and water to mix with your raspberry puree, but this is where we’re taking things up a notch. By adding Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon, we’re getting double the flavor you would get with plain old syrup. Plus, you don’t have to waste time making the simple syrup on the stove!

Since we’re amplifying our flavor here, this recipe wouldn’t be complete without adding some extra Meyer lemon flavor. Fresh Meyer lemon juice is perfect. It’s not too tart and rounds out the sorbet beautifully.

Once the three ingredients are combined, simply add the mixture to an ice cream maker or pour into a loaf pan to freeze. You’ll have to wait a few hours to enjoy the fruits of your not-so-difficult labor, but it will be sooooo worth it in the end.

An overhead shot of three glasses filled with Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet garnished with fresh mint.

This Three-Ingredient Raspberry and Meyer Lemon Sorbet is the perfect treat for kids and adults alike. And if you’re over 21, I highly suggest adding a scoop to your next glass of sparkling wine 😉

Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Prep Time
20 mins
Freezer Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 20 mins
 

This recipe for Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet is so easy and requires only three ingredients. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sour and the ultimate refresher for a warm summer’s day.

Course: Dessert
Keyword: dairy-free, dessert, ice cream, lemon, raspberry, sorbet, summer
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 192 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups Sonoma Syrup Co. Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice Sub regular lemon juice if needed
Instructions
  1. Place raspberries in blender and puree until liquid. Strain through sieve into mixing bowl, using the spatula if needed to push liquid through.

  2. Stir in syrup and lemon juice.

  3. Add mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions, or pour into loaf pan and place in freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Medium

THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas

Loads of fresh tangerine juice goes into this homemade sorbet (along with a couple of other special citrus-y ingredients) to make it the perfect upgrade to your morning mimosa.

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

When I say these are THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas, I mean these tangerines came off the tree that sits about 30 feet from my front door and were squeezed less than 10 minutes after they were picked. They’re THAT fresh. But hey, I’m not here to throw shade at anyone that may not have a plethora of fresh citrus at the ready – we’re in the throes of winter now, folks, and there’s no better time to snatch up all of the fresh tangerines and lemons you can find and throw them together to make some delicious Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas just in time for New Year’s!

Let’s back up for a quick second, though, because I need to know: when it comes to frozen desserts, are you Team Sorbet or Team Ice Cream? Taken in their purest forms, I’m an ice cream fan all the way. There’s just something about that rich dairy flavor that I find myself leaning towards if ever given the choice between the two. But throw a good bottle of bubbly in the mix? I’ll be Team Sorbet all day, every day.

I mean, sure, you can make and enjoy this Tangerine Sorbet all on its own, but if I have some sitting in my freezer you can pretty much bet the only way I’ll be enjoying it is at the bottom of a champagne flute.

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

So, the first step in making THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas is – quite obviously – making the Tangerine Sorbet out of the best, freshest tangerines you can find. If you’re familiar with the whole ice cream making process, the rest will be a piece of cake. You’ll need an ice cream maker of some sort, and a saucepan, but that’s about it. Oh, and to really up the citrus factor, we’re also adding in some fresh lemon juice and Grand Marnier.

Another incredibly important thing to note – you need to start this Tangerine Sorbet process at least the night before your planning to enjoy your ever-so-fancy mimosas. I tell you this now because I care for each and every one of you way too much to have you start this entire process one or two hours before you’re ready to throw your mimosas back, only to be met with soupy sludgy tangerine syrup. Hey, today is Friday and we still have plenty of time before New Year’s to get this going, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

Once the Tangerine Sorbet is at its icy, frosty peak, you’re ready to mimosa it (yep, just made that a verb.) Take your favorite bottle of mimosa bubbles, pour some of it on top of your FRESH Tangerine Sorbet and – voila – you’re ready to enjoy THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosa you ever did sip on.

You likely already have plans for New Year’s, but you better add some Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas to those plans ASAP.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year for you and yours!

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Freezer time
4 hrs
Total Time
40 mins
 

Loads of fresh tangerine juice goes into this homemade sorbet (along with a couple of other special citrus-y ingredients) to make it the perfect upgrade to your morning mimosa. 

Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 289 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the tangerine sorbet:
  • 3 cups fresh tangerine juice
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
Other ingredients:
  • 1 750-mL bottle sparkling wine
Instructions
  1. Combine all sorbet ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine, until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. 

  2. Pour tangerine mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to package directions. 

  3. Pour into a 9-inch loaf pan and freeze until solid. 

  4. Scoop sorbet into sparkling wine flutes and top with sparkling wine. Enjoy!

The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe

An easy, five-minute recipe featuring all of the festive flavors of classic eggnog in delicious, creamy, dairy-free oat milk. A healthier take on a typically indulgent treat!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

If you’re a fan of eggnog but not all of the calories that come with it, this Dairy-Free Eggnog is going to change. your. life.

First, please tell me you’ve tried my new favorite milk alternative, oat milk. I’m the last person to ever be “dairy-free” (cheese and I are bosom buddies) but I’m also not one to shy away from other delicious milk options. Sure, almond milk is a classic go-to, but if you’ve never experienced the thick creaminess of oat milk, now is the time!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

And when we’re making The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe, we want it to be just as thick and creamy as the original. Am I right? Well, I’m happy to report that this recipe will give you just that, plus tons of great flavor from a myriad of spices and even a little rum extract (and, if you like your eggnog spiked, feel free to use the real deal!)

The other great thing about this eggnog recipe? It comes together in wayyyy less time than traditional homemade eggnog. We’re talking throw-everything-in-a-blender-and-it’s-ready-in-5-minutes easy. Because who wants to wait hours to enjoy a delicious glass of frothy eggnog? Or perhaps an oat milk version of this Spiked Almond Milk Eggnog Hot Chocolate?

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure looking forward to having this recipe on hand over the next few weeks. It will sure be nice to have a lighter, healthier alternative to enjoy among all of the other cookies, cocktails, sweets and treats!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

Do you have a favorite lightened-up holiday recipe? If so, tell me about it in the comments below!

The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

An easy, five-minute recipe featuring all of the festive flavors of classic eggnog in delicious, creamy, dairy-free oat milk. A healthier take on a typically indulgent treat!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Drinks
Keyword: dairy-free, dessert, drinks, eggnog, holiday, oat milk, rum
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 356 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 cups oat milk (I prefer Oatly brand)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Couple of handfuls of ice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until mixture is frothy but there are still some little chunks of ice left. 

  2. Pour into four glasses and sprinkle additional ground nutmeg over top of each one. Serve immediately.