What I did with my very large, free pumpkin

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Last week, my neighbor gifted me with a very large pumpkin for Halloween. She helps another neighbor out with their garden, and as a reward, she occasionally get some of the produce. She had enough for her needs and so passed one on to me.

Pumpkins are an overlooked source of nutrition. Their characteristic colour indicates that they are a source of carotenoids, which are valuable allies in the fight against heart disease and cancer.

According to Medical News Today:

Consuming one cup of cooked, canned pumpkin would provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 20% of the daily value for vitamin C, 10% or more for vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese at least 5% for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Wow – that’s a lot of goodness in something we usually leave to rot after carving it and using it as a candleholder!

The inside of my pumpkin.

The inside of my pumpkin.

I started by attacking my pumpkin with a large knife and cutting it in half. Then I scraped out all the stringly stuff and seeds from the inside using the edge of a tablespoon.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin seeds in all their slimy glory.

Pumpkin seeds in all their slimy glory.

I set aside the seeds for later.  I have plans for these little gems.

 

 

 

 

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

I placed the slices of pumpkin on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, skin side up. I baked it at 350°F for about an hour. After it was baked, I set it aside to cool. Once cool, I removed the skin with a knife and put the baked “meat” in a bowl. I used my trusty immersion blender to turn it into pumpkin puree. Next, I packaged two cups at a time in freezer bags. Most of my recipes call for two cups and 2 cups is approximately equivalent to a can of pumpkin.

 

 

When I finished I had 18 cups of pumpkin puree for my freezer. This will form the basis of 9 different dishes. Now the hard part, deciding what to make with all this goodness!

This is my favorite recipe but without the nuts on top and about a cup of golden raisins added to the batter:

 

Cauliflower is on sale this week and I’m thinking this curry with pumpkin, chickpeas, and red lentils will make an appearance on our table:

Although this recipe for slow-cooker pumpkin coconut curry also looks good:

Maybe this pumpkin pie in a jar for dessert:

How about you? Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe?


Further reading:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/vitamin-supplements/what-are-carotenoids.htm

http://tiliabotanicals.com/linus-was-right-pumpkin-is-great/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279610.php

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5 thoughts on “What I did with my very large, free pumpkin

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