From Pumpkin to Puree, and Beyond!

About a month ago, I took myself on a road trip for the day up to Door County.  It’s about an hour and a half drive for me up the Lake Michigan shore, and it’s beautiful.  I like to go up every once in a while to have a “me” day.  On my month-ago-trip, I picked up these three beauties ~ sugar pumpkins ~ and they’ve been taking up space sitting on my counter ever since.

I’ve been wanting to try making my own pumpkin puree just about forever, and with my pumpkins in my face inspiring me every day I finally decided to bite the bullet!  I found some fantastic instructions over at Pioneer Woman and off I went!  I chopped my three pumpkins each into eighths, and then roasted them in the oven for about 45 minutes.  The house smelled so good!

After my pumpkin slices cooled slightly, I set about peeling them.  This was the one part that I did not find as easy as I expected it to be!  It took me about 45 minutes, and I got a little bored…!  All the boredom was worth it, however, when I got those beautiful pumpkin pieces in the food processor and made my lovely puree!

I had no idea what to expect, so I was delighted to end up with four overflowing cups of puree!  The three containers are in the fridge just waiting to be baked, and the measuring cup full of pumpkin on the left was baked into muffins yesterday morning ~ more on that in just a minute!

In the meantime, I also had all of these fantastic seeds to deal with.  Terry has been asking me to make roasted pumpkin seeds for years, and like a mean wifey I have not done it!  I have always had an aversion to pumpkin guts ~ I cannot stand the smell or the texture.  So, needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive!  Thankfully, I made the happy discovery that these smaller sugar pumpkins have only a trace of the smell that I hate and a much firmer texture inside.  I found a fantastic tip to soak my seeds/guts in a bowl of water, which really helped to separate out the seeds because the seeds float while the fibers sink!  Then I did a simple roast with an olive/canola blend, garlic powder, and a little bit of salt.  They were SO good that Terry and I stood over the stove eating them off the tray as soon as they came out!  The picture above is an “after” shot ~ luckily you can’t really tell!  The seeds we didn’t scarf down right away went to work with Terry, and he sent me a text mid-morning that he couldn’t stop eating them.  Success!

And yesterday morning I used one of my puree cups to make these fantastic Pumpkin Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping from For The Love of Cooking.  I’ve had this recipe starred for weeks, and now that I’ve made them I’m kicking myself for not making them sooner!  They are absolutely fantastic and you should make a batch today.  Well, maybe tomorrow!

I have to say, I’m totally impressed with myself with my transformation of pumpkin to puree and seeds to muffins ~ it’s the little things!

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