Monday, September 22, 2008

It's almost pumpkin time again

I've got pumpkin in the freezer from last year, so I need to use it before this year's trip to the Pumpkin Patch. One pumpkin goes a long way, but I never can get by with buying only one pumpkin. (They're better in threes...)

Anyway, I've got this pumpkin in the freezer. I've made pumpkin pies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup over the past year. My favorite was the muffins but I might just make pumpkin custard to use up these last three packages.

Pumpkins are wonderful food, nutritious, delicious and easy to cook with, too. It's easy to take a fresh one and turn it into a year's worth of good food. It's a lot cheaper than buying that canned stuff (and it tastes better, too!).

If you have a blender and a stove, turning a pumpkin from a seasonal decoration to good eating is simple. You can bake it or boil it, then puree it and package it for the freezer.

I like to bake it whole, then scoop out the seeds and scrape out the stringy stuff. You can scoop out the meat or peel off the rind, whichever you prefer. Puree it and package in one or two cup containers, depending on how you're likely to use it.

Save the seeds for snacks. Make them the same way you make sunflower seeds. There are several methods, but what I do is soak them overnight in salt water, then drain and roast slowly until they're very slightly browned. You can toast them in butter in a skillet on top of the stove, too, and/or use dry ranch dressing to coat them.

I can't emphasize enough the difference in quality and price between fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin. Once you taste a pie made from fresh, canned pumpkin pie will never taste right again.

Go ahead and save yourself some money and treat your family to something special at the same time.

More on pumpkins: Have Your Halloween Jack O'Lantern and Eat It Too!


  1. Hi Pat!
    Have you tried putting the raw pumpkin in a crockpot? Just wondering if that would work & how it would taste. It's really hot out here in So. Cal. and the thought of putting on the oven is...well, too hot.
    Thanks, Lisa

  2. I haven't tried a crockpot, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. You might need to chop the pumpkin into pieces first.

  3. hmmmmm. perhaps i should start asking the pumpkin dealers/vendors for their scraps/seconds!

  4. If they're not too far gone (so there is something left after trimming!) it might be a good idea. Wouldn't hurt to try, anyway.