Yep! You heard right!! You can bake a pumpkin in the oven!! Yes, it is tasty, the smell of the pumpkin permeates throughout the house and it is all natural! I visited my local nursery because of their delicious deal of 99 cents for each pumpkin!! No matter the size, it was 99 cents. What a deal to not pass. I have been reading online for great ways to make recipes with more natural ingredients and since Thanksgiving is around the corner, I wanted to try this out, bake a pumpkin to yield a natural version of canned pumpkin puree. Well, the answer is, yes. You can do this and it works!
Here is a cool video from youtube on how to bake your own pumpkins.
Are you ready to begin this step?!
First you need to wash your pumpkin(s). Be sure there are no dirt residue as I am sure none of us wants to be crunching on dirt. 😉
Remove any seeds and stringy pulp. Place seeds aside to bake if desired or toss. If you have an ice cream scooper, it is definitely handy to use it as the scraper.
From there, line your baking sheets and preheat your oven at 375°F.
Place your pumpkin(s) facing down on the lined baking sheet. If for some reason your pumpkins are too big, it is ok to cut them to size to fit your oven. Arrange your oven racks if necessary. Be careful not to burn yourself while doing this. Another option is to re-arrange your oven racks before turning on your oven to preheat.
Cover the pumpkin(s) and baking sheet with foil and bake from 1 hour to 90 minutes until the pumpkin has softened.
Let the pumpkin(s) cool and remove the outer layer and toss. Puree or pack the chunks of pumpkin meat in a container. Use when ready. If you decide to freeze the puree. It will last up to a year.
A trick I used was to run the pumpkin through the Vitamix and have a very fine strainer lined with a coffee filter to drain any liquid out from the puree before adding it to any recipe.
There you have it! An all natural pumpkin puree. This pumpkin puree can be used for cookies, breads, pies, soups and more!