Pumpkin Flavored Everything….Yep, that pretty much sums up the fall. And rightly so – this beautiful orange vegetable is packed with powerful vitamins and antioxidants. More info about the benefits of pumpkin here.
For the last month or so, our house was decorated with several of the sweet pie pumpkins that our family grew in their garden this summer. Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to do something with those “decorative” pie pumpkins. We decided to roast them.
This week, we went to work in the kitchen making loads of delicious pumpkin puree. I sliced the pumpkins down the middle, our little girl scooped out the insides, and my wife buttered the flesh of the pumpkins. In the matter of just minutes, we had several pumpkins roasting away in the oven, making our home smell amazing! I’ll break it down for you below, but don’t be intimidated by the process of making your own pumpkin puree – it’s ridiculously simple.
Making our own pumpkin puree served two purposes: it reduces our exposure to BPA (which is found in the lining of cans) and preserves more of the nutrients found in this delicious fall squash. And since we grew our own pumpkins, it also saved some money too. So instead of buying pumpkin puree this winter, we made our own.
Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
To roast a pie pumpkin, preheat your oven to 375ºF. Simply wash the pumpkin and cut it in half. Spoon out the pulp and seeds and set aside. Rub the flesh with some butter.
Place the pumpkins face down on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, or until easily pierced by a fork.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then remove the flesh with a spoon. Place in a blender or food processor and puree.To preserve it for later use, you can spoon out a desired amount, place it in a quart freezer bag/container and label it. I recommend doing 1-2 cups, an amount you would likely use in a recipe. Then freeze. Be sure to allow them to freeze flat (I laid them on a baking sheet until they were frozen). This way, they will stack more easily in your freezer.
What to Do with Pumpkin Puree
With the puree of just one pie pumpkin, we had enough pumpkin puree for three different purposes.
- Pumpkin Black Bean Chili – recipe below.
- Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread – Post in the comments below if you’d like us to post that recipe as well.
- Baby Food – she took the rest of the pumpkin, and sprinkled in some cinnamon to taste. Our son loved it!
Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 organic yellow pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 lb. grass-finished beef/bison/venison
1 cup chicken bone broth or stock
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups pumpkin puree* (or 1 can)
1 can organic diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
Slow Cooker Method
Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3.
Stove Top Method
In a large skillet, sauté the onion and yellow pepper in the coconut oil for about 2 minutes or until tender. Add beef and cook until brown, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook on low for 20 minutes to allow flavors to come together.Serve with slices of avocado, sour cream, chives, or other toppings of choice.
If you have any questions or feedback, let us know in the comments below.