Yes those pumpkins you use for decoration can be used in your holiday cooking and baking! Don’t just toss them in the trash, field, or compost pile. Learn how to cook them up and store the meat of the vegetable in your freezer for holiday baking and beyond.
In this demo I am using a neck pumpkin. It does look like a butternut squash, but it is a stubby neck pumpkin. We had a bumper crop of them this summer. Pumpkin is packed with immune supporting properties such as antioxidants, vitamin c, vitamin A, and believe it or not Omega 3. That is what makes it a great anti inflammatory food as well. I add the prepared pumpkin to soups, sauces, granola, and baked oatmeal.
Preparing it is simple but it does take a few hours to bake.
Always choose organic because recent agricultural trials have shown that winter squash can be an effective intercrop for use in remediation of contaminated soils. Meaning farmers will plant this crop to clean up their soil and guess who it eventually gets sold too? Us! Whether in whole food form, pre-chopped, or canned form. Think of your favorite canned version you use to make the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
1. Carefully cut the top off the squash and cut the squash in half using a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds. You can save the seeds for roasting. I treat our chickens to a little treat instead of saving the seeds. 2. Lay the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 2 hours at 350.
3. Check the softness of the flesh by poking a fork into the squash. Once it is the softness of a baked potato take out of the oven and let cool.
4. Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh into a bowl. I use an immersion blender to make the flesh smooth and creamy.
5. Transfer to mason jars and store in the freezer or use within a week if stored in the refrigerator.
Happy Baking Friends!