Ahhh the pumpkins… I love the smell. I love the taste. I love the texture. How can anyone not love pumpkin!? 😀
Over the last two days I decided that I wouldn’t let my four pumpkins go bad. I started doing some research on what’s the best way to preserve them. I know my parents keep their pumpkins in the cold dark basement and they are good all the way through Christmas. I, however, do not have a cold dark basement. So what do I do?
I found some articles about canning pumpkin where the authors said that it’s best to can it in pieces rather than pureed. And because pumpkin has low acidity, it has to be processed in a pressure canner. Hm… I have no pressure canner. So moving along…
Then I found some articles talking about freezing pumpkin pieces and turning them into puree when you need them. I didn’t like this approach as I didn’t want to end up with drier stiffer pumpkin once it defrosts. (maybe it wouldn’t have been dry and stiff, but in my mind it was LOL)…
Then I finally found something I thought would fit perfectly my pumpkin needs 😀 Freeze the puree after you make it. Then I thought that I didn’t want to just steam or boil the pumpkin. I wanted as much flavour as possible. And one of my favourite ways to eat pumpkin is roasted in the oven. So I decided to roast the pumpkins, scoop them into a big container, and puree with my immersion blender. “Речено сторено” as we say in Bulgaria 😀 (translation: “Said and done!”)
I washed the pumpkins, removed the seeds (and kept them), placed in roasting pans with 1/2 cup water at the bottom of the pan, and roasted until soft enough for a fork to go in. That’s all I used – no sweeteners or spices. Just pumpkin. Then I scooped the flesh with an ice-cream scoop and placed it in a boiling pot (the biggest pot I had on hand, but you can use anything). As the pot was quite full by the time the last pumpkin went in, I divided it in two. Make sure you save as much of the pumpkin “juice”. You’ll need it for blending. If you don’t have enough the puree is not as runny as you like, add some water. After I blended it, I left one cup puree aside for a whole wheat pumpkin bread I want to make later. And I also filled a bowl half-way for breakfast. Oh what a beautiful breakfast that was – fresh pumpkin puree, drizzle of honey (omit for Whole30), raisins, and sliced almonds. WOW!!! Amazing! And the roasted flavour of the pumpkin was just superb! MMMmmm mm mm! 😀
The rest of the puree I placed in ziplock bags and smaller tupperware containers for the freezer. I can’t wait to make that whole wheat pumpkin bread now… the house will smell so great. 🙂
In the mean time, I put the pumpkin seeds under running water to wash away any remaining pumpkin on them. Then I put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzled salt over them and turned them over a few times. Then I placed them in the oven at 200*F. They don’t need to roast. Only to dry slowly. I kept them in the oven a few hours and kept turning them with a spatula every once in a while. They don’t need to become brown or golden. They just need to dry slowly. If you notice the skin getting darker, reduce the heat and make sure they don’t burn. Ahhh yum!!! 😀