Pumpkin purée is the No. 1 use for the fleshy insides of your pumpkin, and it’s super easy to make. Start by cutting your pumpkin down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and guts, and set them aside for later.
Place your pumpkin cut-side down in a baking dish with about a cup of water, and bake for about 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Then, simply scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor.
Once you’ve made your pumpkin purée, it’s ready for use in all your favorite pumpkin recipes, from pies to pancakes. Any extra can be stored in the freezer for several months, which means you can ditch all that canned pumpkin when Christmas comes around.
Roast those pumpkin seeds!
1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you’ve removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.)
2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray or butter works well.
3. Sprinkle with salt or any other spices you wish and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
4. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.
Use those Guts!
The guts are the stringy pieces that surround the seeds of your pumpkin, and they can be one of the most difficult parts to use. We suggest using these icky innards to make some pumpkin stock.
Separate the seeds from the guts, and set them aside for a tasty snack later. Place your guts in a pot filled with water and boil. You can add other unwanted vegetable pieces, such as celery tips or carrot tops, to add more flavor. Boil for about 30 minutes, or until the water begins to change color. Strain your stock, reserving the broth and setting your guts and vegetable pieces aside to be composted.
Pumpkin stock is perfect for adding flavor to soups or casseroles, and you can freeze any extra for later use.
Anything left over from the pumpkin would be great for the composter.