Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin

I absolutely love this time of year!  The weather is changing, nature's décor is turning yellow, orange, red, brown, etc. (you know all the colors of fall) and produce like pumpkins are in season.  Who could ask for more?  I lucked out this year and found pie pumpkins for $1.69 each at Kroger so I picked up a large one to roast.  It is very easy to roast and can be used in many different recipes such as spaghetti sauce, muffins, pancakes, pies and smoothies.  Also, don't forget about the seeds as you can roast those as well for a nutritious snack. 
To roast the pie pumpkin just wash it off under hot running water and place it on a rimmed pan or baking sheet.  I use a commercial stainless steel baking sheet.  Place the pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees for about one hour.  You will need to adjust the time based on the size of the pumpkin.  The pumpkin will swell as it cooks.  Be careful not to leave it in too long because I am sure it could explode if left in too long.  When the pumpkin is soft (not gooshy) take it out and set it on the counter to cool.  As it cools it will deflate as seen below. 
When the pumpkin is cool enough for you to touch (but not cold) peel the skin off.  This will be very easy!  Make sure to keep it on the pan as some juices will seep out as you peel.

Once it is fully peeled, lightly break it half.  Scoop the seeds into one bowl with a spoon.  Put the remaining pulp and juices in another bowl for mashing.

Mash the pumpkin pulp.  I use a potato masher because it does not take much to mash the pumpkin.  But if you prefer a blender it will work too.  There is not wrong answer here.

If you are going to freeze some of your pumpkin mash for later use place about one cup in a labeled freezer bag (or container).  Place in the freezer.  When you are ready to use take it out and defrost in the refrigerator.


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