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Walking around the Market, (and anywhere else in mid-October), pumpkins are simply everywhere. People are carving them for Halloween, decorating their porches with them, painting them, and cooking with them. Pumpkin spice everything has made its annual seasonal appearance. Fortunately for me, I never get tired of pumpkin, so I am in the thick of my yearly pumpkin fever; making every other dish I prepare with delicious, nutritious, pumpkin!

In my search for pumpkin recipes, I kept coming up with delicious sounding dishes whose recipes (for the sake of ease), called for canned pumpkin. That’s just not the way the pumpkin rolls (pun fully intended), at the Market! So I kept looking until I found a recipe for home-made pumpkin puree. That way, you can use the canned if you must, but for the freshest and most healthy dishes possible, you can easily make your own! 

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

from the food network, Alton Brown

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 to 6-pound) baking pumpkin, rinsed and dried
  • Kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice a small piece of skin off the one side of the pumpkin so when laid on its side, the pumpkin will lay flat without rolling. Remove the stem and split the pumpkin in half from top to bottom, using a large cleaver and a mallet. Scoop out the seeds and fiber with a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Cut the fibers with kitchen shears if necessary. Reserve seeds for another use.
  3. Sprinkle the flesh with kosher salt and lay the halves, flesh side down, on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Roast until a paring knife can be easily inserted and removed from the pumpkin, 30 to 45 minutes. Test in several places to ensure doneness.
  4. Remove the sheet pan to a cooling rack and cool the pumpkin for 1 hour. Using a large spoon, remove the roasted flesh of the pumpkin from the skin to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the flesh is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Click here to see the video.

With your own homemade pumpkin puree, you are ready to make all sorts of incredible pumpkin dishes. Just substitute your puree for the canned pumpkin called for in any recipe and you will soon be in pumpkin heaven!

Easy Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Penne with Parmesan

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Duck and Pumpkin Risotto with Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Pork & Pumpkin Noodle Bowl