Homemade Pumpkin Puree

When your first introduction to any food is from a can you immediately assume that it is just way too complicated to make it fresh by yourself.  I love cooking with pumpkin because I love Thanksgiving, it is without question, my favorite holiday.  However, I have never really liked the taste of canned pumpkin, but I used it anyways because I didn’t know there was an alternative. When I learned for the first time how truly easy roasting and pureeing my own fresh pie pumpkins was, it was an absolute GAME CHANGER! And, it is so easy, I am not sure why anyone would ever want canned pumpkin once you taste the difference.  Enjoy!

Makes:

1 qt pumpkin puree, approximately enough for 2 pies

Total Time:

45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2   2-3 lbs  “pie” pumpkins or “sugar” pumpkins

  • 3 Tbps. of avocado oil

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the pumpkins well under cold water and dry.

Slice off the tops of the pumpkins making a solid flat surface of the pumpkin. Turn the pumpkin over onto the flat side which holds it steady and slice down the middle making two halves.

Seed the pumpkin with a large table spoon or a grapefruit spoon.  Spray the inside of the pumpkin with avocado oil, especially the edges or use a pastry brush to apply the avocado oil.

Place the pumpkins onto a parchment lined sheet pan skin side up, (inside of the pumpkin down) and roast for about 40 minutes until a paring knife easily pierces the skin of the pumpkin and you can see some caramelization around the edges.

Cool the pumpkins about 15 minutes.  Place a paring knife just under the skin and peel back the skin of the pumpkin and discard. (it should slide right off easily.)

Place the pumpkin meet into a food processor in small chunks and puree till smooth.

Spoon the puree into a 1 quart mason jar of your choice.  Pumpkin will keep fresh for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator and about 6 months in the freezer.  Enjoy! 

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Roasted Vegetable Pasta

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes that I love to throw together when at the last minute I find out I am having the family drop by for dinner.  I always can find vegetables in the house to roast, combined with pasta and my favorite mozzarella and smoked olive oil from the Temecula Olive Oil Company and we have ourselves a meal that is nutritious, has an ease of coming together and of course is memorable and delicious.  Be sure to read my roasted veggies recipe to make the most delicious roasted vegetables to put into this dish.  Enjoy!!

Serves:

6-8

Total Time:

60 minutes

To Make

Ingredients:

  • Roasted vegetables (see Nanny Bubby Roasted Veggie recipe)

    1 lb. ziti or penne pasta

    1 ½   jars arrabbiata sauce (about 3 cups – store bought or homemade)

    1 ½ c. grated mozzarella

    1-2 tsp. smoked olive oil

    1 c. frozen peas, thawed

    1/3 c. grated Parmesan for topping

    2 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces

    Salt and pepper

      Directions:

      Pre-heat oven to 450 °

       Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add enough salt to have the water taste like the sea.  This takes practice over time, but you will learn the right amount (it is more than you think).  Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the pasta is al dente, (inside is still hard). Drain in a colander.

       Gently toss the mozzarella with the smoked olive oil to fit your smokey taste buds.

       Combine the roasted vegetables, arrabbiata sauce, cheese, peas, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

       Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the Parmesan cheese and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes

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      Roasted Vegetables

      I love roasted vegetables.  This exact recipe I use to toss into pasta and sauce with cheese, I use them to make an omelet, I use the same roasted veggies to make a Sunday frittata, and I also just place them on the side of whatever protein we are eating that night.  It is so easy, it’s nutritious and with some knife skills; slicing, dicing and mincing is a breeze. Enjoy!

      Serves:

      4

      Total Time:

      45 minutes

      To Make

      Ingredients:

      • 1 zucchini diced 2 inches thick
      • 1 yellow squash diced 2 inches thick
      • 1 red bell pepper diced 2 inches thick
      • 1 yellow bell pepper diced 2 inches thick
      • 1 red onion diced 2 inches thick
      • ½ carton sliced cremini mushrooms
      • 2 tsps. Minced garlic (2-3 cloves)

          Directions:

          Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. 

          Dice, slice and mince all of the vegetables.  Place them all on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper except the garlic.

          Spray with olive oil or sprinkle with about 1/8 cup of olive oil, toss with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper.

          Cook for 20 minutes, turning the pan ½ turn half way through cook time at 10 minutes.  Toss the minced garlic into the mixture and continue cooking for the remaining 10 minutes.

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