Thursday, November 6, 2008

BPA-Free Organic Pumpkin Puree

It's Pumpkin Time!
And what better way to celebrate than to make some BPA-free pumpkin puree for the holidays?

We got an organic sweet pumpkin in our co-op delivery this weekend. Since we split the deliveries with a friend, we really got a half a pumpkin - but it was plenty.

And what do you do with half a pumpkin? My friend is making soup, but I'm not really a soup girl. But I do like me some pumpkin pie, mmmmmmmm. So, I roasted it - see instructions below. You can actually do this with other kinds of pumpkins too - like the one you carved, but that brings in some sanitary issues for me.

Pumpkin Puree

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. You'll want to save this for toasted pumpkin seeds later. DO NOT THROW this goodness away!

Cover with foil - no spices needed, but I think if you're using a carving pumpkin you'd want to add some sugar. They aren't raised for flavor, you know.

Roast until insides are soft. It took mine 1.5 hours. I took it out at 1 hr and started to scoop it out, but the meat closer to the skin wasn't quite ready I think. I noticed it was a bit stringy, so I put it back in for 30 mins.
Scoop out pulp with an ice cream scoop. Puree with a blender or a food processor until smooth. You don't want any strings so you may have to strain the puree to get these out - I didn't have that issue.

I got about 3 cups of puree with my half of the pumpkin. Enough for a pie and maybe some of these pumpkin muffins.

I've always heard that canned pumpkin puree was as good as the fresh, but since this was so easy and with all the nasty BPA lurking in those cans - Why not just do it yourself? Plus you get some yummy seeds to snack on.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Separate seeds from pulp. I cover the seeds with water in a bowl, they kind of float to the top and I get my hands in there to remove the yuck and then put the seeds on a cookie sheet.
Toss with olive oil, enough to coat. Season with your preferred seasoning. Shinerman prefers All-Purpose Season Salt, yes I know it's made of horrible chemicals - oh well. I think a good combo would be cayanne and salt. What about you?

Toast in the oven with the pumpkin for about 15-20 mins.
I tossed the stringy pulp and shell into the compost pail so this was NO Waste project! WOOHOO!


LaDonna said...

Great blog... I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin seeds and muffins too. One should go organic with as many foods as possible, and storage is an issue too. BPA is found in most canned goods today. But it is also found in most plastics like water bottles, baby bottles, plastic bags and clear wraps. The picture of your yummy organic pumpkin stored in a plastic bag made me think about that...

Maxine from Texas said...

Good catch LaDonna! When we are constantly surrounded by chemicals it's difficult to always be on the lookout for everything. Here's to trying to lessening our exposure!