How To Roast A Pumpkin

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Roasting a pumpkin can be done several different ways to include using the microwave. My favorite way is in the oven. You can use roasted pumpkin in many delicious recipes, pumpkin bread, the traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin sugar cookies, along with so many more.

When selecting the right pumpkin make sure your pumpkin looks free of any disease and feels firm to the touch, even on the bottom. The best pumpkins are usually medium in size about 8-10 inches round. You can use the bigger pumpkins but they tend to have a lot of water in them and are not as sweet. Remember that each medium pumpkin makes about 2- 2 1/2 cups of blended pumpkin flesh, so make sure you pick out enough pumpkins for the recipes you may be using.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. As your oven is preheating rinse your pumpkins with cold water to get off any dirt and grime. Place the whole pumpkin on a baking sheet, bottom side down. You may have to break off part of the stem for it to fit in your oven easily. Using a paper towel, coat the outside of the pumpkin with vegetable oil or you can use olive oil. Place the pumpkins in the oven and cook for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkin. An easy way to tell if the pumpkin is done, stick a knife in it. If the knife goes in with ease with out hardly any effort, it is fully roasted and ready for the next step.

After you have taken the pumpkin out of the oven, let it cool off enough for you to handle it with out burning yourself. Once slightly cooled, you should be able to easily slice the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. With a spoon or an ice cream scooper, scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. Don’t forget to save the seeds for planting in your garden next season or for roasting! Once the seeds and pulp are taken out, using a spoon scrap all the pumpkin flesh out and put into a bowl. Be careful to leave all the skin behind, its not very tasteful in your pumpkin mix.

You’re pumpkin is ready for use. For most recipes you will need to puree the pumpkin instead of leaving it in big chunks. I used a hand held blender but a counter top blender or hand held mixer would work too with a little patience. After pureeing the pumpkin its ready for almost any recipe, just add the right spices and your set to go!

Cooked pumpkin can be frozen for 10-12 months. I like to measure 2 cups of pumpkin puree in a ziplock bag, making sure to label the bag with contents, date, and amount pre measured. Lay flat in the freezer for neater freezing.

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