16 Fresh Pumpkin Recipes for Your Organic Harvest
This year I had a fairly decent pumpkin harvest and wanted to share how to use fresh pumpkin instead of the canned stuff. You might wonder why I would go to the trouble of making my own pumpkin purée when I can just purchase it at the grocery. After all, the sales will be on, and every end cap will have the makings of ingredients for pumpkin pie.
I say why not! Even if you haven’t grown your own fresh pumpkins they will be available in every store at a reasonable price, even organic ones. Plus. cooking and processing a fresh pumpkin is actually easy. You can freeze or can it for later and make the most of the season.
See below: This post is part of National Organic Harvest 2015 #Organic Harvest15
How to cook fresh pumpkin
Don’t let it intimidate you one bit, this is the easy part.
- // Wash the outside of the pumpkin and cut it in half.
- // Remove the seeds and strings with a sturdy spoon, scraping the side of the cavity to get out as much as you can. Reserve the seeds if you are going to save them for planting or roast them for cooking.
- // Heat the oven to 400º.
- // Lightly grease a cookie sheet and place the halves face down on the sheet. You can spray it or use olive oil.
- // Bake until the outer skin is soft and you can poke a fork in it. Depending on the size of your pumpkin that could be anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.
Turn it into Purée
Allow the cooked pumpkin to cool and then cut it into chunks. Using a food processor, stick blender or even an electric beater, purée the fruit until smooth. You may have to run it in batches.
If you had to add water to get your purée smooth, you may need to place it in a pot and simmer on medium-low until the liquid has cooked off. Be sure to stir periodically so the pumpkin purée does not burn. Add a pinch of salt when cooking, if desired. Cool and freeze your fresh pumpkin purée in 1 cup increments.
Can you can it?
Pumpkin may ONLY be canned as cubes. Pack pumpkin cubes into canning jars, cover with boiling liquid and can in a pressure canner. Because of pumpkin’s low acidity, pressure canning is a must! It is not safe to can mashed or pureed pumpkin. The mixture is so thick that no safe processing time has been established. Find out more in the publication from the University of Missouri Extension – Preserve winter squash and pumpkins.
Harvesting and Curing: Cut ripe fruits from the vine, leaving a short stub of stem attached. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove soil. Cure in a well-ventilated place with warm room temperatures (70 to 80 degrees) for one to two weeks.
Storing: Store whole pumpkins in bushel baskets or on shelves in a cool place with moderate humidity. Select pumpkins that are free of blemishes, harvested with their stems intact and those that feel heavy for their size. Pumpkins without stems do not store well. Do not store pumpkin or squash near apples, pears, or other ripening fruit. Ripening fruit releases ethylene gas, which causes yellowing of the squash and shortens storage life. Depending on the kind of pumpkin, you can expect storage times of 1 to 3 months.
Use Fresh Pumpkin
Now to the best part. What will you do with your fresh pumpkin? These 16 recipes found around the web will give you some good ideas. Hopefully you’ll find a new favorite recipe (or two) that will become a family favorite. Enjoy!
Hi, this is week 2 of National Organic Harvest Month. #OrganicHarvest15
September is National Organic Harvest Month and to help you make the most of your harvests, I’ve teamed up with these other amazing bloggers.
Please be sure to check out their tips and more: Rachel from Grow a Good Life – Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living – Teri from Homestead Honey – Chris from Joybilee Farm – Susan from Learning and Yearning – Shelle from PreparednessMama – Angi from SchneiderPeeps – Janet from Timber Creek Farm.