This article was originally published in October 2014
Along with being fall’s most popular latte flavoring, pumpkin offers an incredible array of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E and riboflavin, along with potassium, copper, manganese and fiber.
It’s easy to stock your freezer with homemade pumpkin purée. Choose a firm Sugar Pie pumpkin (the kind sold for jack-o’-lanterns are watery and stringy), about 5 pounds. Cut around the stem and discard it, then scoop out the seeds. Cut the pumpkin in half and place the cut sides down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake in a 350° F oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool, scoop out the flesh and purée in a food processor until smooth. Pack the purée into 1-cup freezer tubs; you’ll get about ½ cup of purée per pound of pumpkin. Homemade purée typically has a paler, more golden color than canned, but once it’s used in cooking, the color difference is subtle, the taste exceptional.
Our organic Sugar Pie pumpkins are grown in Stanwood at Rents Due Ranch. Once cooked, they’re smooth and finely textured, with an almost creamy richness.
Thicken your purée
Either canned or homemade purée can be strained through a sieve or cheesecloth if needed. It will be smoother to cook with, and you can use the excess liquid for added nutrition and color in smoothies or baking.
Farmer’s market organic pumpkin
The density of high quality canned pumpkin can vary, just like growing conditions vary from year to year in the Pacific Northwest. If you think your can is a bit too thick, thinning it out with up to two tablespoons of water won’t adversely affect your recipes.
Pump up your breakfast
Our recipe collection features a tasty variety of sweet and savory ways to add pumpkin to your morning meal. Keep things healthy with Pumpkin Seed Granola, go decadent with Pumpkin Coffee Cake or serve Pumpkin Home Fries with your favorite breakfast sausage. See entire recipe collection >>