11.02.2012

Preparing Your Pumpkin

Last year I discovered my love for pumpkins went from just carving them for the purpose of jack-o-lanterns to eating them! Therefore our family Halloween tradition has changed from just purchasing pumpkins for fun to purchasing pumpkins for nutrition. And what makes this even better is that it involves our annual trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out our little gems ourselves! Is there a better way to spend a fall day....or two, or three?

If you are just looking for recipes I provided a write-up last year on pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and roasted pumpkin seeds. My write-up on prepping the pumpkin was a bit weak so I am adding more information this year.

Step 1: Pick out a nice pumpkin that warms your heart and makes you smile. Okay, maybe not the best pumpkin selection criteria but darling daughter and I usually go for a mid-sized pumpkin from the patch for my use. Not too small and not so big I can't carry it but I could get smart one year and bring a wagon like many other pumpkin patch visitors and load up with more pumpkins!

Step 2: Cut out the top like you would when making a jack-o-lantern lid. I find this an easy way to start and makes handling a pumpkin safer for myself because the hole becomes a good holding spot for me, and an entry point for step 3.

Step 3: Cut the pumpkin in half. I then remove the seeds and pulp and darling daughter loves the idea of helping at this stage but doesn't really love the ooey, gooey feeling of pumpkin pulp craziness.


Step 4: Save the seeds! I aim to separate the pulp and seeds in step 3 and immediately move the seeds into a colander. I find that running water over them and washing them makes it easier to remove the last few bits of pulp. They are now ready to be roasted. You can read more HERE but I essentially just spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle some Hawaiian salt on top and bake until yummy and ready. And there is never enough seeds to last as the we all LOVE them!


Step 5: Cut each pumpkin half into thirds and then peel. I find cutting the pumpkin into smaller but yet still large chunks makes it easy to peel off the rind with a potato peeler. I know some people may just roast the pumpkin but I prefer steaming.


Step 6: Cut your peeled chunks into smaller chunks and fill up your stove-top steamer. Steam until tender.


Step 7: Puree and yep, the food processor works perfect and you don't need to add a thing!

At this point, I have my puree base for making whatever I choose. This year we made a double batch of pumpkin soup and it was gone in no time! But on the bright side, my pumpkin was big enough that I have some pumpkin puree in the freezer waiting to be used another day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Alka-Seltzer cold medicine.
Daily Affirmation: I grow stronger when I allow myself to run less and recovery from a cold.

3 comments:

  1. Oh man!! This makes me so excited! I love pumpkin! Never knew how to do this though!! Thanks!! :0) spa <3

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  2. I like to do this every year since pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie are my favourites!

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  3. I used to have a large fluffy black cat that loved squash and other veggies with seeds like cucumber... he would climb right into my open pumpkin when I wasn't looking to eat the pulp .. yuk! I had to start carving our pumpkins on a table top cause he wouldn't bother me there.

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