How plentiful is squash right now? Gorgeous varieties are popping up at the market; my favorite is probably the hubbard squash. It looks like a dead zombie squash. I’ve never actually tried it, but it’s apparently sweet and tastes like pumpkin.
Speaking of pumpkin: it’s the one squash that reigns supreme in my heart.The past few posts have been littered with how much I love pumpkin and the spices that go along with it. I keep a stash of pumpkin puree on hand because it’s so easy to mix into, well, everything. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin chili; everything is made instantly seasonal and delicious when you add a scoop of pumpkin puree into the mix. Plus, it’s so good for you:
A mere 1/2 cup has 100% of the Vitamin A you’ll need for the day, and 252 mg of potassium–that’s more than a banana! It’s also full of fiber, rich in cancer-fighting carotenoids, antioxidants and lots of B-complex vitamins.
I like to make mine at home. I’ll use a canned organic version in a pinch, but making your own is cheaper and SO MUCH MORE TASTY. I cannot emphasize this last point enough. Homemade pumpkin puree is like ambrosial pudding–you could very much eat it by itself with a sprinkle of pie spice and have fiber-packed, autumnal snack.
Quick n’ Dirty Pumpkin Puree
What you’ll need:
- A sharp giant knife
- A pie pumpkin (organic if you can)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take your pie pumpkin and wash the outside, then carefully cut off the stem. This is where I always scare myself. Then cut the pumpkin in half. This will most likely be a huge pain in the ass if your knife isn’t sharp enough.
Scoop out the seeds and pulp, then place the halves face up on a cookie sheet, then put them in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll know when it’s done when it’s tender when you poke it with your knife or a fork.
Take the pumpkin out and let it cool. The skin should peel off pretty easily once cooled, then cut the skinless roasted pumpkin into chunks and pop in your blender or food processor. I usually add a pinch of vanilla or pumpkin pie spice at this point. Even if I use it for something savory, you’ll get those warm baking spices to give it a little oomph.
That’s it! Delicious puree you can do whatever you like with. So what can you mix your puree into?
- Add a dollop on top of soup
- Spread it on a piece of bread and sprinkle with cinnamon
- Almond butter and pumpkin puree sandwich. You’re welcome.
- Mix with almond milk, toss in a tablespoon of chia seeds and leave overnight for a yummy chia breakfast pudding.
- Apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of puree for delicious fall salad dressing.
So many options! What’s your favorite thing to have with pumpkin?