One of my favorite vegetables to receive in our fall and winter Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) basket is pumpkins! There is so much that you can do with pumpkins. You can use them in beverages or in recipes for breakfasts, dinners, and desserts and so much more. Plus, fall is such an exciting time of year that if you start making pumpkin recipes you’ll just be enjoying the season that much more.
I always like to start with a little nutrition lesson so here we go. Pumpkins are very low in calories and high in protein and fiber. I am deeming the pumpkin a super food because it will fill you up quickly without loading you down with calories. For example, if you add a cup of pureed pumpkin to a recipe you are only adding about 49 calories. That is practically nothing. On the other hand, you are adding in protein, fiber, countless vitamins and minerals, and a great flavor of course! Therefore, incorporating more pumpkin into your life can even help you to eat less and lose weight.
How to make pumpkin puree
So first of all you need to know how to make pumpkin puree for most pumpkin recipes. There are two ways. The first way is to buy a can of pumpkin puree. This way is much quicker and if you are starting here you can scroll down to the recipe section.
The second way is to buy a cooking pumpkin. Do NOT buy one of the pumpkins that are meant for decoration or carving and expect to use that for eating. These are “bred” for size and color and probably won’t taste too good. You may have to go to a farmer’s market to find a cooking pumpkin but they are worth it!
When you have the cooking pumpkin home clean it really good. Pull the stem off and slice in half. Scoop out all the seeds (save them to make these) from the middle. Place open-side down in a casserole dish and pour just enough water in the dish to cover the bottom.
Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes. Just keep checking every 5-10 minutes to see when they are done. Every pumpkin is different so what I do is wear a oven mitten and reach in and touch the pumpkin to feel if it is soft. When it is, they are done!
I recommend letting the pumpkins cool for a bit and then simply peel off the skin. It will come right off and then you have the whole pumpkin left.
Carefully move it to a bowl and mash it up. You can use a mixer if you need to, I just use a spoon.
Don’t add water because that just waters it down.
Here’s a video of me peeling a pumpkin. Sorry about the poor quality; I was filming, peeling and trying not to get burned.
The last step is to measure the puree according to your pumpkin recipes of choice.
I made three pumpkins into puree in one afternoon and divided it up so I could make five different pumpkin recipes: pancakes, waffles, cookies, bread, and a bisque soup. Links to all of these recipes (except the bisque because we didn’t like it) are below. Enjoy!
Adding in the traditional pumpkin pie spices makes these pumpkin pancakes soooo yummy! I love making these for myself because they kick start my metabolism and give me energy. My children get excited to be eating pumpkin pancakes and I am excited because they have already eaten a vegetable and they are going to stay full longer than if they ate, say, cereal. (And yes, I occasionally let them have cereal for breakfast.)
Oh, and I double the recipe and sometimes freeze the batter in a bag to pull out down the road when I don’t have a fresh pumpkin available.
Pumpkin waffles are just as great as the pancakes! You can also freeze the batter to use later.
Easy pumpkin bread is so simple and delicious. I looked and looked for a pumpkin bread recipe that was simple and I succeeded. You only need two ingredients and one of them is the pumpkin puree. An awesome dish for a morning get together!
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are also delicious. I love the fact that I can let my kids eat them till they are full because they are actually eating a vegetable. hahahaha (that is supposed to be read as an evil cackle)
Pumpkin recipes in which you do NOT need puree:
Don’t waste the seeds! They are a great snack, in moderation. This is also a great opportunity to bake with your kid. Mine loves to do the mixing.
Stuffed pumpkins. If you can’t tell, this picture is of stuffed acorn squash. As is the recipe that is attached to it. However, one night I used pumpkins in replace of the squash and it was great! (I just forgot to take a pic!)
I know that there are so many other recipes I could add here. Pumpkin soup, pie, cake, muffins, and even cheesecake. And I just received three more cooking pumpkins this week so I will get to try more recipes for an updated post. If you know any great pumpkin recipes, drop me the link in the comments so I can try it!
If you liked this post you could make your life a little easier by following my “Cooked, eaten, loved” board on Pinterest in which I re-pin all the recipes I have cooked, my family has eaten, and we have approved to eat again one day.
Follow Callie Lifestyle’s board Cooked, Eaten, Loved! on Pinterest.
Finally, in the spirit of the time of year check out this fun little video I made of the pumpkin we carved. And follow me on Instagram @calidroz for more fun stuff.
Did I confuse you with the CSA talk? Click the picture to learn why I choose the CSA life.