Just a quick note on pumpkin puree preparation. Whether you’re pulling them out of your garden or picking them up half price after halloween (jack o lantern pumpkins aren’t as flavorful as the sugar & cooking varieties), this is the 20 minute method to not using store bought Can-O-Pumpkin for all your holiday recipes.
1. Slice pumpkin in half. Scoop seeds and stringy pulp into a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large pot with a steamer basket, bring a few inches of water to a boil. Fill steamer basket with the pumpkin slices, cover and steam for 20-30 minutes until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile. under running water and using your fingers, separate seeds from stringy pulp. Save seeds and discard the pulp. See note at end of post for what to do with seeds.
4. When the pumpkin is cooked through, let it cool and cut away skin. Cut pumpkin into chunks.
5. In a blender, puree.
And there you have it, pumpkin puree. The USDA does not recommend canning pumpkin mash or puree. See details HERE. I’ve tried it and had less than successful results. However, it will keep in the fridge for a week or so. Also, you can freeze cooked, blended pumpkin puree to be on hand quickly when needed when pumpkins are not in season.
To freeze, follow the above directions. Once cool. Pack into rigid containers leaving headspace, and freeze. Not a bad option by any means.
As to seeds,
You can either dry them to bake and snack on or dry them to bag and plant next year.
Toasted Pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
3. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.
Seeds for planting
I love the image above (unknown source). It shows the simple cycle of the seed. For the seeds you collected from your pumpkin. To save seeds for next year, follow these simple steps.
1. Once you have a good amount of seeds rinsed, look over them and choose the biggest seeds. Plan on saving 3 times more pumpkin seeds than the number of plants you will be growing next year. Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating.
2. Place the rinsed seeds on a dry paper towel. Make sure they are spaced out otherwise the seeds will stick to one another.
3. Place in a cool dry spot for 1 week.
4. Once the seeds are dry, store pumpkin seed for planting in an envelope.
PRINT YOUR OWN SEED PACKET ENVELOPES HERE