It’s officially that time of year where we can consume pumpkin-flavored everything! While you wander through the grocery store, you may feel the urge to pick up a can of pumpkin for each recipe you’ll make this season. Instead of picking up a can for your recipes this year, consider replacing it with your own pumpkin puree in recipes.
Making your own pumpkin puree in recipes may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite simple – and the taste difference will knock your socks off! First, we need to talk about the different types of pumpkin puree in recipes so we can find the exact taste you’re looking for.
Different types of Pumpkin Puree in Recipes
Pumpkin belongs to the squash family, so there are many different styles of puree that you can make. While you may not want to pick up zucchini for a puree to put in pumpkin pie, you’ll be surprised to know that butternut squash can taste just like the real thing.
In fact, Delish tells us “even though pumpkin purée makers write pumpkin on the can, it’s actually a strain of Dickinson squash. And the closest produce relative to it isn’t even pumpkin. It’s butternut squash.” So if you’re reaching for the can of pumpkin to use as your pumpkin puree in recipes – you are essentially picking out a butternut squash!
There is a reason that the pumpkin puree in recipes is often a butternut squash and not the giant pumpkins you can find at pumpkin patches. The jack-o-lantern style pumpkins tend to be a little more bitter, so in turn, you’d have to add more sugar and spices to your pumpkin puree in recipes, which isn’t appealing to everyone.
In addition to butternut squash, you can also use a “pie” pumpkin for your puree! This pumpkin is small and sweet, grown perfectly for any pie recipes. They do not yield a whole lot of pumpkin puree, so you’ll want to make sure that you pick up a few to process for your recipes. Pie pumpkins are also a seasonal veggie, so you won’t be able to find them if you’re attempting to use pumpkin puree in recipes during the summer.
Read More: 18 Best Pumpkin Spice Recipes for Fall
How to Process your own Pumpkin Puree
Time for the fun part! How exactly do you make your own pumpkin puree? Only a few simple steps can provide you with enough pumpkin puree to get you through the entire holiday.
- Step 1 – Peel your Pumpkin or Squash
While the skin is delicious and healthy for you, it doesn’t give you the right consistency you’ll need for the pumpkin puree in recipes. Be sure to peel your pumpkin and remove all the skin.
- Step 2 – Scoop out the Insides
Take a spoon and simply scoop out the inside including all of the seeds. But don’t throw the seeds in the trash! Clean off all that goop and place them into a bowl. We’ll show you what to do with them in a few minutes.
- Step 3 – Cube your Pumpkin and spread cubes evenly on a baking sheet
Place the pumpkin sideways and slice it into two halves. From those halves you’ll want to cut the pumpkin into little cubes, truing to keep each cube the same size. Make sure not to cut them too thick or they’ll take a long time to cook.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 450 Degrees. Spread the pumpkin cubes evenly across a baking sheet. Putting too many on top of each other can cause some pieces to bake faster than others and we don’t want that. We want everything to be cooked perfectly so the pumpkin puree in recipes doesn’t taste burnt.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until softened. When the pumpkin begins to soften, you’ll see a slight color change. If you can squish it with a fork or see the sides beginning to curl, then your pumpkin is done. Take it out of the oven and set it aside to cool.
- Place all pumpkin in food processor
Once your pumpkin is cooled, it’s time to place it in the food processor to make the perfect pumpkin puree! As the cubes begin to mix, add in little bits of water until the puree becomes nice and smooth. You don’t want any chunks, but you also don’t want it to be very watery. Make sure that it’s a thick consistency and doesn’t slide off your fork.
If you’re using a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, don’t add any sugar into this mixture. You’ll want to make up for that when you make your recipe!
And viola! You have created your own pumpkin puree!
Before we share a few of our favorite recipes for your pumpkin puree, let’s talk about storage. You can keep your pumpkin puree in the fridge for up to one week before it starts to go bad. The best thing you can do to prep for the holidays is to spend a day prepping all your puree and place them in a mason jar! You can throw the mason jars full of puree into the freezer and take them out whenever something calls for pumpkin puree in recipes. Simply take out the jar and let it thaw in the fridge for 24 hours.
Now that you have your starter, you can begin using your own pumpkin puree in recipes ASAP! But where to get started? Here are a few of our favorite recipes to start making this fall!
It’s the holiday season, so chances are you’re going to make at least one pie for Thanksgiving. All Recipes brings us the absolute perfect pumpkin pie recipe that will have you wanting to make it more than just once. Remember, most recipes online will tell you to use a can. Skip that part and instead use your own pumpkin puree in recipes!
You heard that right. If you’ve ever made pumpkin bread then you know how delicious and soft pumpkin can be. Surprise the kids for breakfast and make the most delicious muffins they’ll ever taste. Pretty Simple Sweet gives us a recipe that you’ll want to keep in your recipe cards to pull out year-round.
Read more: Pumpkin Cranberry Overnight Oats
Who said that your pumpkin puree could only be used for sweets? On a rainy fall day, take out some of your home made pumpkin puree and create a magical and delicious soup. Every year when fall hits, we guarantee this recipe from Spend with Pennies will hit your taste buds.
Remember when we told you to hold on to those pumpkin seeds?
If you held on to those pumpkin seeds, then get ready for a salty snack that will make sure you never toss them aside again. Once you’ve cleaned the goop off the seeds, toss them with olive oil, spread them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast them in the oven until they’re brown and crispy. This will give you the most delicious roasted pumpkin seeds that you can eat alone or sprinkle on any pumpkin-based recipe for an added pizzaz in design.
Making your own pumpkin puree is so simple, it seems silly to go to the store for multiple cans. Make sure to experiment with each type of pumpkin squash to find which one you like best. The possibilities are endless when you make it yourself!
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