It’s that time of year when Halloween has come and gone and you may find yourself with a glut of pumpkins on your porch, or adorning your lawn.

This year, turn those soon-to-be slumping pumpkins into homemade pumpkin puree and make a great snack by roasting the seeds.

Preparing a pumpkin and making pumpkin puree is not difficult — you can boil, steam, bake or even microwave the pumpkin.

Pumpkin puree freezes well and can be used in all sorts of dishes, including pumpkin soup, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, pumpkin eggnog, pumpkin flan, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin cookies. You can substitute homemade pumpkin puree in the same amount in any pumpkin recipes calling for solid pack canned pumpkin.

Preparing the Pumpkin

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halved pumpkin

Before cutting, wash the outer surface of the pumpkin thoroughly with cool tap water to remove any surface dirt that could be transferred to the inside of the pumpkin during cutting.

Working on a clean surface, use a sharp knife to cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and scrape away the stringy mass. If you are going to make roasted pumpkin seeds, then set the seeds aside and follow the directions further down this page for roasting them.

Cooking the Pumpkin

Cut pumpkin to make puree.

Boiling/Steaming Method:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into rather large chunks.
  2. Rinse in cold water.
  3. Place pieces in a large pot with about a cup of water. The water does not need to cover the pumpkin pieces.
  4. Cover the pot and boil 20 to 30 minutes or until tender, or steam 10 to 12 minutes. Check for doneness by poking with a fork.
  5. Drain the cooked pumpkin in a colander. Reserve the liquid to use as a base for soup.
  6. Follow the steps outlined below in Preparing the Puree.
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Oven Method:

  1. Cut pumpkin in half, scraping away stringy mass and seeds.
  2. Rinse under cold water.
  3. Place pumpkin, cut side down on a large cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour or until fork tender.
  5. Follow the steps outlined below in Preparing the Puree.

Microwave Method:

  1. Cut pumpkin in half, place cut side down on a microwave safe plate or tray.
  2. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, check for doneness.
  3. If necessary continue cooking at 1-2 minute intervals until fork tender.
  4. Follow the steps outlined below in Preparing the Puree.

Preparing the Puree

homemade pumpkin puree

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Don’t let your cooked pumpkin set at room temperature longer than two hours in the process of making puree.

  1. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, remove the peel using a small sharp knife and your fingers.
  2. Put the peeled pumpkin in a food processor and puree or use a food mill, ricer, strainer or potato masher to form a puree.
  3. Transfer hot foods to shallow containers to speed cooling. You can place loosely covered foods in the refrigerator while still warm; cover when food is completely cooled.

Freezing Pumpkin Puree

To freeze, measure cooled puree into one cup portions, place in ridged freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace or pack into zip closure bags. Label, date, and freeze at 0 degrees F for up to one year.

Nutritional Information: A 1/2 cup serving of pumpkin puree contains about 50 calories, 0.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 5mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 4g sugars, and 1g protein.

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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

How to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

  1. Carve the pumpkin and remove the seeds.
  2. Rinse the seeds thoroughly, removing all pumpkin flesh, and blot dry with paper towels.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Spread seeds evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the seeds are crisp and slightly browned.Optional Seasonings: You can sprinkle lightly with salt, garlic salt, onion salt, or Cajun/Spicy seasonings, if desired.

Nutritional Information: 1-ounce of roasted pumpkin seeds contains about 125 calories, 15g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g fat (1g saturated), 5mg sodium, 5g protein.

Featured Recipes

Low Carb Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Pumpkin Soup

Sugar Free Pumpkin Egg Nog
Pumpkin Eggnog

Diabetic Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Sugar Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake in Gingersnap Crust

Sugar Free Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sugar Free Pumpkin Flan Recipe
Pumpkin Flan

Want to see more pumpkin recipes?
Visit this page: Pumpkin Recipes


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