by Texas Homesteader ~
There are several recipes I love that use pumpkin puree. So to provide that ingredient myself, I like to grow sugar pie pumpkins in my garden. But how do you make puree? Well I’m so glad you asked.
Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
Growing Pumpkin In A Three Sister’s Garden
I often plant the native American Indian’s symbiotic garden called the ‘Three Sisters Garden‘.
A 3 sisters garden garden is typically 3 specific plants that both help and are helped by each other:
Corn: The 3 Sisters Garden is started by planting corn – a staple in the native American’s diet. But it was also a heavy nitrogen feeder from the soil.
Beans: At the base of the corn plants they planted green beans to help replenish the nitrogen in the soil. The corn repaid the bean’s care by giving them a hearty stalk to climb upon to support the bean plant.
Squash: Then squash was planted between the corn plants. The squash benefited from the additional nitrogen from the beans as well. And the large leaves of the squash vine would cover the soil to protect other plants from the hot summer temps, preserving moisture and acting as a Living Mulch for the beans and corn.
All three plants benefiting AND being benefitted from each other. Love it!
Using Home-Grown Pumpkin Puree In Cooking
This year I planted heirloom Sugar-Pie Pumpkins for the squash requirement of my Three Sisters Garden. I like to use homemade pumpkin puree for my favorite homemade Pumpkin Granola.
Aaaahhhh… nothing quite says “Fall is finally HERE!” like pumpkin #amiright?
I have several pumpkins that are now ready to come off the vine so I’ll be cooking them up into pumpkin puree.
Option #1: Cooking Pumpkin In A Conventional Oven
Making homemade pumpkin puree is super simple.
To cook a fresh garden pumpkin in a conventional oven, simply:
Cut the pumpkin in half
Scoop out seeds and pulp
Place pumpkin cut-side down on a rimmed baking dish
Add a cup or two or water to help steam the pumpkin
Bake in 350ºF degrees until fork tender (about 45 minutes.)
Option #2: Cooking Fresh Pumpkin Outside
The steps for cooking your pumpkin in a solar oven instead of a conventional oven are much the same. But you’re cooking it outside in a solar oven instead.
You still cut the pumpkin in half, (into even smaller pieces if your cooking pot won’t hold two full halves of pumpkin) and scoop out the seeds
Then you place your cut pumpkin flesh-side down in a pan and add just a touch of water.
Finally just place the lid on the pan to help the pumpkin steam as it’s cooking and place the covered pan into the *Solar Oven.
When I’m cooking pumpkin in my solar oven I wait at least until the glass is covered in steam before I check on the cooking progress. Usually the pumpkin is ready to puree at that point.
Making Pumpkin Puree
When the pumpkin is cooked soft it’s time to make it into pumpkin puree.
Cool the cooked pumpkin
Scrape the softened pumpkin flesh into a large bowl (compost the dark orange rind)
Allow the pumpkin to cool in the bowl & pour off excess liquid.
Use a blender (or stick blender) to puree the cooked pumpkin.
Really, that’s all there is to making your own homemade pumpkin puree. See? I told ya it was easy!
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Puree?
Freezing your excess pumpkin puree is a simple way to preserve it for later use.
The easiest way I’ve found is to use a large *silicone muffin pan to freeze the puree in 1-cup increments.
That way the pumpkin puree is already measured out when you’re ready to use it. Plus the silicone makes it easy to pop these 1-cup frozen disks out.
Then I place those frozen pumpkin puree disks into a freezer bag, being sure to label the contents. I just pop that bag of frozen disks into the freezer until I have a recipe that uses pumpkin puree.
Frozen Pumpkin Puree For Homemade Granola
When I’m in the mood to make my granola I pull out 2 frozen disks of pumpkin puree to account fo the 2 cups of puree in my recipe.
I allow those frozen disks of puree to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then the next morning I use that pumpkin puree to make my pumpkin granola.
Can You Dehydrate Pumpkin Puree?
You sure can dehydrate your pumpkin puree! And it makes storage even easier!
I’ve become totally enamored with dehydrating pumpkin puree instead of freezing it. No more room taken up in the freezer or trying to get a chunk of pumpkin puree to thaw.
I simply measure out my dehydrated pumpkin puree and add hot water. It quickly rehydrates the Pumpkin puree!
And jars of dehydrated produce looks pretty in my pantry too.
So there ya go. Oven or solar oven cooking. Freezing or dehydrating. However you choose to go about it, making and using your own pumpkin puree is simple.
Links Included In This Post:
- Three Sisters Garden, A Symbiotic Planting Strategy
- Living Mulch Using Vining Plants
- *Solar Oven
- *silicone muffin pan
Other Pumpkin Articles
- Cooking Pumpkin Puree In A Solar Oven
- Dehydrating Fresh Pumpkin
- Rehydrating Dehydrated Pumpkin Puree
- Recipe: Pumpkin Granola
- Recipe: Easy Pumpkin Bread
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