Farmers markets, grocery stores and roadside stands are all full of pumpkins this year! Did you know there are over 30 different varieties of pumpkins?? Pumpkin is super nutritious, stores well long term and is really a classic flavor of fall.
Pumpkin puree is extremely easy to make, is Zero Waste and allows you to try out some other varieties- you can even take it one step further and dehydrate the puree for long term storage and to take up less space!
- Select your pumpkins- small pumpkins are generally sweeter, large Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins don’t typically have a lot of flavor. Try some heirloom varieties and different colors too! If you can purchase organic it’s best, pumpkins absorb chemicals from the Earth but do what’s best for your budget!
- Wash the outside of the pumpkins well
- Remove the stem
- Slice in half
- Remove the seeds (save these to roast if desired). An ice cream scoop works really great for removing seeds!
- Cut larger pumpkins into smaller pieces to fit onto a baking sheet
- Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until they’re soft when you poke them with a fork
- Allow to cool until you can handle them
- Remove peel (you can either scrape the pumpkin out of the peel or pull it right off)
- Mash by hand, in a blender, or in a mixer until it’s the desired consistency (you may need to add a bit of water)
- Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or freeze (it will freeze up to a year) or dehydrate
- To dehydrate- spread pumpkin on parchment-lined (or fruit-leather sheets) dehydrator trays and dry. You can puree it to a “flour” and use 1/4C flour to 1C water ratio to rehydrate. You’ll need to let it set 15-20 minutes and then use as you’d use pumpkin puree. This takes up virtually no space and you can “sneak” some extra pumpkin into baked goods and other foods to give your kiddos some hidden veggies!
Make sure you compost your stem, skin and “guts”.
What are your favorite things to make with pumpkin puree? Let me know in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and 4 year old son. She enjoys spending time in the mountains, studying about essential oils, natural remedies and herbs, as well as upcycling/ DIY projects. Olivia’s family made the move last year towards becoming a Zero Waste household. They are down to one bathroom sized trashcan a month of garbage but hope to be totally Zero Waste by the end of 2015.
Like this? Check out the rest of our Waste Less and Be Green in 2015 series for more tips!