Pumpkin season is in full swing and delicious pumpkin baked goods are flying off the shelves! Why not learn how to make pumpkin puree (fresh pumpkin) instead of buying the canned versions?
Not only will you know that no chemicals or unnecessary additives are in your fresh pumpkin puree, it’s super easy to make! Find all the answers to commonly asked questions below or skip straight to learning how to make pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin! Jump to Recipe
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Is pumpkin puree healthy?
Pumpkin puree is possibly one of the healthiest foods you can eat during pumpkin spice season! Pumpkin itself is chocked full of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, Copper, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, Iron, and Potassium! In fact a single cup of cooked pumpkin contains only 49 calories and 245% of your daily required intake of Vitamin A (Healthline).
This is because pumpkin is mostly water just like cucumber and watermelon! Surprise! Surprise! It’s also a fruit because it contains seeds which are highly nutritious in and of themselves.
Growing up in Belize we ate handfuls of pepitas which is the Spanish name for them. Not only are the seeds flavorful they are great for getting rid of parasites in the body.
Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, a great fiber source and because of its nutrient density, an excellent choice when it comes to losing weight!!!!
Do your eyes hurt after staring at your phone or computer screen all day??? Eat some pumpkin which contains 2 compounds that are great for eye health, lutein and zeaxanthin! You may also what to consider getting some of these special blue light glasses for even greater protection.
As you can see, you have a lot to gain from including pumpkin in your daily diet and making pumpkin puree will soon have you creating delicious pumpkin recipes using fresh pumpkin puree!
What can I make with pumpkin?
The short and sweet answer is anything!!! Pumpkin puree makes an excellent subsitute in baking recipes for butter or oil. Use a ratio of 1:1 for oil, e.g. 1 cup of oil = 1 cup of pumpkin puree and a ratio of 1:3/4 for butter, e.g. 1 cup of butter = 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree (Popsugar).
When cooking with pumpkin puree, it can also be used to sweeten baked goods or add moisture!
If a recipe calls for applesauce, use a 1:1 ratio and substitute fresh pumpkin puree instead! You also want to make sure that your pumpkin bread, muffin, cake, etc. is completely baked by testing with a skewer due to its high moisture content (kitchn)!
What’s the difference between pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie filling, or canned pumpkin?
Pumpkin puree made from fresh pumpkin is simply the meat of the pumpkin or the pumpkin flesh. It’s exactly the same as canned pumpkin! It’s called canned pumpkin because that’s how it’s preserved!
My favorite way of preserving pumpkin is freezing it as per the pumpkin recipe instructions below.
Pumpkin pie filling on the other hand contains added spices that are commonly used in pumpkin pie and baked goods such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, etc. This makes it very convenient when you want to make your Thanksgiving pumpkin pies!
You can easily learn how to make your own pumpkin spice at home! This saves you a trip to the grocery store and money!
However, it’s just as easy to add your own spice mixture when making pumpkin puree out of fresh pumpkin! Plus you can experiment and adjust according to taste. Some people prefer a more spiced pie while others love the fresh pumpkin taste!
How do you clean a pumpkin for cooking?
Cleaning a pumpkin for cooking is simple and quick. Whether you got your pumpkin from your garden, a local pumpkin patch, farmer’s market, or the grocery store, the procedure for cleaning is the same.
I simply wash the outside of my pumpkin with cool water, use a veggie brush if needed to remove excess dirt. If you are going to cut your pumpkin up into smaller pieces for soup or baking, use your hands or a large spoon to scrape out the stringy fibers and seeds. Cut out and discard the stem and that’s it!
Or if your pumpkin is too large and hard to cut, try the easy method of cooking fresh pumpkin in the oven that I introduced in my recipe below!
How to Make Pumpkin Puree (fresh pumpkin) Easily!
- Large sharp knife
- Bowl (for seeds)
- Cutting board
- Large cake pan or cookie sheet
- Blender or food processor
- Quart size freezer bags
- Permanent marker
- 1 Cup Measuring Cup
- 1 small/large pumpkin of choice! Size of pumpkin affects baking time
Wash the outside of the pumpkin with warm water. Use a veggie brush if you have one.
Take a sharp knife and cut the stem of the pumpkin out in a large circle.
Scoop out the seeds and any fibers with your bare hands or gloves.
Reinsert the cutout stem and place the pumpkin on a baking sheet or pan.
Bake @350 until pumpkin is tender and a table knife slides into the flesh easily.
- If the outside of the pumpkin seems to be browning too quickly before the pumpkin is finished you can reduce the temp to @300 or less so it bakes more slowly.
Allow pumpkin to cool completely and then remove any remaining seeds & fibers.
Remove the inner flesh and puree in a blender or food processor.
- I pureed about 2 cups at a time, using the scraper to incorporate the flesh and smooth out the puree.
Measure the puree into freezer bags per how you want to use them. Most recipes call for 15 oz. of puree so I portioned 2 cups.
Date with the permanent marker and freeze!
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree contains approximately:
- 0.2 grams of Fat
- 2 grams of Protein
- 3 grams of Fiber
- 12 grams of Carbs
- a whopping 245% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A!