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.
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
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.
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!
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!
- 1 baking pumpkin May also be called a Sugar Pie pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally and scoop out all the seeds.
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.
Place wrapped pumpkin halves on the jelly roll pan.
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.
Let pumpkin halves cool for at least 10 minutes, or until they are cool enough to touch.
Scoop the inside of the pumpkin into the food processor, discard the skin and foil.
Turn the food processor on and process until smooth.
- 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.