Have you ever thought about making pumpkin puree at home? Or ever wondered how to make homemade pumpkin puree? Well, look no further! This article will show you exactly how easy it is to make pumpkin puree, and how to store it. Plus 9 great pumpkin recipes to try!
”I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” – Anne of Green Gables 1908 novel by L. M. Montgomery
While pumpkin may be one of the few things that are still safe to buy from the store, after all, canned pumpkin is nothing but pumpkin. It was still one of the things on my list of stuff to start making from scratch, I’m not sure if I’m just a lazy person or someone who gets discouraged beyond easily.
But as I continue down this path of learning and making the most of what I eat from scratch(a slow but steady journey). I often find myself looking for quick and simple things to start making.
And well one can’t find something much easier than a puree. Whether you have a large harvest of pumpkins this year, you bought a few too many at the farmers’ market, couldn’t resist stopping by the little farm stand selling pumpkins by the side of the highway, or your local store was having a good sale.
Or like me, you are just trying to start taking better care of yourself and working towards making more and more of the food you eat from scratch. This is an easy and great thing to make.
It saves money, takes very little time, and is a great way to use up any extra pumpkins you might have laying around! But before you get started let’s break this down a little.
Is making your own pumpkin puree worth it?
While the easy answer to this is yes. And here are a few reasons why.
Making your own homemade pumpkin puree is healthier. Though pumpkins might not be a very modified crop at the moment, most things grown in the USA are still treated/sprayed in some way. Making your own puree means you can ensure that it is organic, locally grown, or maybe even homegrown.
Even if you make your own puree from a pumpkin you picked up at the store, it will still be better for you, taste better, and all in all I would say is more than worth the little time it takes to make.
Flavors are always better and richer the fresher something is. Perhaps it’s not the difference between night and day. But there is a difference between using fresh pumpkin puree and using canned.
And finally, though perhaps the most convincing reason to start making your own pumpkin puree is that is in fact cheaper than buying canned.
Disclaimer, I cannot speak for everyone here, and I don’t know what the prices are at your local stores. These prices are based on where I live and the stores I shop at.
A can of pumpkin puree from my local grocery store costs anywhere from $1.50 to just over $2.60. Most cans hold roughly(usually just under.) 2 cups of pumpkin puree. Meaning you are paying anywhere from $0.75 up to $1.30 per cup of pumpkin!
Pie pumpkins from my local grocery store cost just under $3.00 apiece. You can easily find them for less at your local farmer’s market, or roadside stand. Not to mention if you are growing them yourself, they will practically cost nothing at all! My local grocery store seems to have the most expensive pumpkins, so I’ll use them for this example.
An average-sized pie pumpkin will give you about 4 cups of pumpkin puree. This breaks down to about $0.75 a cup, or a little less. (again this is using the highest price for pie pumpkins)
I can admit I was hoping there would be a great difference in the price when I first sat down to the math. I was a little disappointed to learn that making my own puree is the same as buying a knock-off brand of canned pumpkin.
But the more I thought about it, I realized that it was still a good price since I was using arguably the most expensive pie pumpkins, and comparing them to the cheapest can of pumpkin. Meaning if I would a pie pumpkin anywhere for less than $3 I would be saving money!
What kind of pumpkin should I use?
While pumpkin puree can be made out of pretty much any pumpkin, you will want to use a pie pumpkin in order to get the best results.
Large carving pumpkins can be all means be eaten, but as their name would suggest they are better saved for carving. In many ways, they just seem harder and tougher than pie pumpkins and they just don’t make as great of a puree.
White pumpkins can also be eaten and I am told they taste just like an orange pumpkin, though personally, I wouldn’t use them to make a puree. As the puree of course would be white then and I can’t imagine that would look quite as nice in pumpkin recipes!
To get the best results you will want to use a nice orange, average-sized pie pumpkin.
How to make homemade pumpkin puree
Step 1. Prepare your pumpkin.
Rise your pumpkin(s) under running water or wipe them off with a wet rag. There is no need to use soup as you aren’t going to be eating the peel, mostly you just want to make sure that there is no dirt or dust on the pumpkin(s).
Step 2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 3. Using a shape knife cut your pumpkin(s) in half, horizontally. Then with a spoon scrap out the seeds(you can set these aside for later use.) Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet.
Step 4. Bake the pumpkins for 45min. or until tender. You can use a knife or fork to poke the pumpkin. If it goes in easily then they are done.
Step 5. Allow the pumpkin halves cool for 20-30min. or until cool enough to handle.
Step 6. Flip the halves over and using a spoon scrap the cooked pumpkin out.
Step 7. Place the pumpkin in a food processor (if you are doing one then one pumpkin, puree them one at a time to avoid over-filling your food processor.) And blend until smooth.
And there you go! Fresh homemade pumpkin puree that can be used for all your favorite pumpkin recipes!
You can also bake pumpkins whole. Simply stab the pumpkin a few times and bake for roughly 1 hour. Allow the pumpkin to cool completely before cutting. Scrap out the seeds, then the cooked pumpkin, and blend until smooth.
Pumpkin seeds can be saved for growing next year. Or you can eat them as a snack! Here are a few easy recipes for using up pumpkin seeds. Easy Pumpkin Seed Recipe, Sweet & Salty Pumpkin Seeds, Cinnamon and Honey Pumpkin Seeds
Any leftover pumpkin scraps can be fed to chickens, ducks, cows, and pigs, or added to a compost pile.
How to store homemade pumpkin puree
In the fridge. You can store pumpkin puree in an air-tight container(or canning jar) in the fridge for up to 1-week.
Freeze it. Freezing pumpkin puree is a great way to store it for future use.
You can freeze pumpkin puree in a freezer bag or in an ice cube tray or muffin tin. Personally, I use pumpkin puree most for drinks so I like to freeze mine in an ice cube tray.
Each cube is roughly 2 tbsp. So it makes grabbing just the right amount super easy!
Pumpkin puree will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can keep it for longer but the quality will begin to drop.
Looking for ways to use up pumpkin puree? Check out these great recipes!
How To Make and Store Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1-2 average-sized pie pumpkins
Prepare your pumpkin.
- Rise your pumpkin(s) under running water or wipe them off with a wet rag. There is no need to use soup as you aren't going to be eating the peel, mostly you just want to make sure that there is no dirt or dust on the pumpkin(s).
Cook and puree your pumpkin
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a shape knife cut your pumpkin(s) in half, horizontally. Then with a spoon scrap out the seeds(you can set these aside for later use.) Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake the pumpkins for 45min. or until tender. You can use a knife or fork to poke the pumpkin. If it goes in easily then they are done.
- Allow the pumpkin halves cool for 20-30min. or until cool enough to handle.
- Flip the halves over and using a spoon scrap the cooked pumpkin out.
- Place the pumpkin in a food processor (if you are doing one then one pumpkin, puree them one at a time to avoid over-filling your food processor.) And blend until smooth.
- And there you go! Fresh homemade pumpkin puree that can be used for all your favorite pumpkin recipes!