>U Mom Knows Best: How To Cook A Pumpkin For Recipes

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How To Cook A Pumpkin For Recipes

Learn how to cook a pumpkin 

Around this time of year, the stores sell lots of pumpkins. While most people use them for decorating, I get excited that I can cook and eat it. My son went to a pumpkin patch the other night with his youth group and got a pumpkin. He carved it but the pumpkin fell apart. He wanted to have some fun and smash it but I said no way I am going to cook it. The pumpkin above is a new one that we bought to carve tonight.

 The best pumpkins to use for cooking are the smaller pie pumpkins as they have the best flavor to use in recipes like pumpkin pie. You can cook the bigger pumpkins but the pumpkin flesh will be more stringy and watery. The pumpkin flesh is still edible and can be used in recipes that are not sweet like casseroles or soups. I like to combine the cooked pumpkin from larger pumpkins with rice and spinach.

 Cooking pumpkin is very easy. First, wash the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Put the seeds and goop in a bowl to toast later (Learn how to toast the pumpkin seeds.).Then slice the pumpkin in half and place each half in a roasting pan with 2 cups of water. Bake the pumpkin at 350 for about 1 to 2 hours, turning the pieces over halfway through. I sliced the pumpkin into more pieces when I turned it over to fit in the pan better. The pumpkin is done when it is dark orange and soft.

Notice how soft the pumpkin is?

When the pumpkin is down let it cool. I put mine in the fridge for a couple hours as I did not have time to tend to it. Then peel off the skin, it will come off very easily with your hands. Place the cooked pumpkin in a strainer and with a clean bowl push it down to squeeze out the water.  Put the pumpkin in the fridge to use later or freeze in 2 cup portions. This larger pumpkin is not good for pies or other sweet baked items as it is too watery. If you want to use the cooked pumpkin in pies, then select a smaller sugar pumpkin that is grown for pumpkin pies.

 I like to use this pumpkin in soups or casseroles. It also tastes great with spinach and cheese. I just take 1 pound fresh spinach and 2 cups pumpkin and then microwave for 3 minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheese, salt, and pepper on top. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A and fiber.

Tomorrow, my son will carve his other pumpkin and then I will have seeds to show you how to toast them. I found a way where you leave the goop on the seeds and toast them on the stovetop. The result is a seed that is more crispy and easy to chew.


Jessica said...

"Pumpkin Season" is my 6 year old son's favorite time of year!

Unknown said...

I have a yummy pumpkin recipe we make every halloween. It's basically a casserole inside a pumpkin. You scoop the pumpkin flesh out with the casserole. So good!

ginabad said...

OK, I never knew how to cook a pumpkin, this makes it sound easy! Thanks for sharing.

NetWorkingWitches said...

I have never cooked a pumpkin and have always wanted too. This looks so good. I would freeze some for making muffins during the winter too.

Melissa said...

I love cooking pumpkins! But I've never had it with spinach & cheese before, I'll have to try it.

Lisa Weidknecht said...

I've never cooked a whole pumpkin before! I might this year now!

Jamie said...

MMMmmmm....pumpkin!!! I so love it, but my husband hates it, so it's hard to reason why to bake. Maybe I'll make something for the neighbors and have to taste test it!! ha/ha

Unknown said...

I never knew how to cook a pumpkin before, now I can definitely try this! And using it in soup sounds yummy, thanks for sharing :)

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