Though I gladly eat pumpkin all year round, I was excited to see fresh pumpkins in the store again.
Not only are pumpkins loaded with nutrition, it’s so easy to make fresh pumpkin purée (and pumpkin seeds!) yourself. Plus, it’s a fun project for little ones to help with.
We past our first fresh pumpkins out shopping recently and Rose begged for me to get one so she could make pumpkin seeds. I obliged.
In order to make good pumpkin puree, select healthy-looking pumpkins and wash the outside thoroughly.
Cut the pumpkin into thick slices and remove all the seeds and string.
Place the pumpkin slices in a large pot. Add a couple cups of water (I like my puree thick, so I don’t completely cover them), bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pumpkin starts to stick to the pan, add more water. Once the pumpkin is soft, remove from heat.
Cool slightly and then scoop the soft flesh into a blender. Blend thoroughly.
Now you have fresh pumpkin puree to use in your favorite recipe. Place extra into freezer bags for use all year long.
While the pumpkin cooked and cooled, let your five-year-old remove every last seed from the strings, rinse the pumpkin seeds, and pat dry.
Place in a large pan, toss very lightly with oil/butter and your seasoning of choice. (I just used sea salt.) Bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly until the seeds are golden brown.
Store the seeds “for winter.” Though my children are highly attached to the idea of preserving food for winter, “winter” usually lasts all of three days around here.