I will be dedicating the Month of November to PUMPKINS, so hang on to your jack-o-lanterns....
Depending on what variety of pumpkin you have, here are a couple of easy ideas.
Basic field pumpkin: the larger, more common type of pumpkin sold in grocery stores & pumpkin patches in the fall. These pumpkins can be baked as you would any winter squash. Peel, clean out the seeds, cut (slices or cubes), drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 Degrees for about 45 minutes (or until tender). The pumpkin can also be peeled, diced in bite-sized pieces and added to soups or stews. I will have a stew recipe posted later this week that calls for Butternut Squash, but Pumpkin could easily (and deliciously) substituted!
KEEP THE SEEDS! Clean and rinse them, dry, then toss with olive oil and salt, then toast in the oven at 400 Degrees for about 10 minutes.
Sugar Pie or Baby Bear Pumpkins: smaller pumpkins often found in the produce section and winter farmer's markets. These are also the tiny little pumpkins that are often used for decorating. The littler ones are not as good for baking with so continue to use those for decorations through Thanksgiving! The larger ones, 2 - 5 pounds are great for baked goods.
Wash the pumpkins (if it is painted or decorated, be sure to scrub off ALL paint, glue, etc.), do NOT peel, but cut in half and scrape out the seeds. Rub the skin of the pumpkin with olive oil. Salt the inside (I like to use Vanilla Sea Salt available at Olivelle) and place cut side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 Degrees until a paring knife can be easily inserted and removed from the pumpkin, about 35 - 45 minutes.
Let cool for 1 hour, then scrape the flesh from the peel (sometimes the peel will pull right off). Put the flesh into a food processor and puree until smooth (3 - 5 minutes).
The pumpkin puree is now ready to be used in your favorite recipe!
You can also keep is stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week or in the freezer for about 3 months!
SO Easy and much more nutritious than canned pumpkin!
It has become a tradition for each of my Granddaughters to come over, one day each, before Thanksgiving to make one of the Thanksgiving treats with me. The 4 year old LOVES to be in the kitchen, so she choose to make Pumpkin Pies with me each year. The above pictures are from last year's Pumpkin Pie Day!
Don't throw away ALL of those "Grinning Faces"...
Make PIES out of them!