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Pumpkin Friday on a Tuesday: Roasted Sugar Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Seeds

Hey! It's FALL!

I know it's a pretty cliche thing to be a fall fangirl, but honestly it makes me giddy. I love the changing leaves, the goodies, HALLOWEEN, my b-day (woop woop) and Thanksgiving. Dressing up, eating, and baking are my jam, you guys.

And at the mention of baking, I have something exciting to share with you! I asked my cute friend Kiana from Glitter & Donuts if I could team up with her on one of her fun family traditions: Pumpkin Friday. Every Friday from the first day of fall to the last, she makes a pumpkin recipe. Guys, she's done this for SIX YEARS. How incredible is that? She was nice enough to let me jump in on the Pumpkin Friday festivities, so that's what I'm going to be doing every Friday this fall, too! Here's my first Pumpkin Friday post.

Confession: Technically I did do this on the first day of fall--which was a Friday--but posted something else instead, so this is going to be a Pumpkin Tuesday post, following up with an actual Pumpkin Friday post. On Friday.

Okay, now I'm going to cut the kiddie stuff and teach you the crap-your-pants move, so get ready. Totally kidding. Name the reference.

We're going to be talking about one of the best ways to save money and get excellent fall baking done: make your own pumpkin puree! It's life changing and cheaper than the canned stuff at the store. And super easy, so don't exit out of your browser just yet. Keep reading, my children...

It all started last week when I went to the store and saw the sugar pumpkins and got a little too excited. This lady was like, "Wow! Somebody's getting a head start!" And I said, "Yeah, I'm going to take them home and roast 'em! That way I can have homemade pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving!" And she said, "Somebody goes all out!" Which was probably passive aggressive talk for "You're crazy," but I took it as a compliment and got three pumpkins.

They were about 2-3 pounds each and cost me $9 total. Keep that in mind for later.

Here's the instructions on roasting pumpkins, with some helpful tips thanks to Angela from Oh She Glows and All Recipes.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse your pumpkins and cut off the stems using a very sharp knife. Cut each pumpkin in half and with a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the guts and seeds. Set them aside for later.

Line a large cookie sheet with tin foil, shiniest side down. Brush the insides of each half with oil (I used organic coconut oil because I thought the flavor would be good, but I've done olive and canola oils before too). Put the pumpkin halves--cut sides down--on your cookie sheet and bake them in the oven for about 50 minutes. You'll know they're done if you can puncture the skin with a fork and it pulls off easily when cooled.
A rare sighting of my girls. I don't usually post pics of them for safety reasons but "the backs of [their heads are] ridiculous."

Let the pumpkins cool for about 10-15 minutes then peel the skin off. Throw the cooked pumpkin in a blender with a few tablespoons of water (I did it in two batches) and blend until smooth.

Ta-da! Now, an important note is that using fresh pumpkin puree is going to make your baked goods A LOT lighter than they would be with canned pumpkin. It might not be that signature pumpkin look, but there's definitely all the flavor, if not more. So don't worry! Your fall baking will still reign supreme, just in a different shade. 

Now, you can measure it out however is going to be easiest for you to do it. For me, it was putting getting four sandwich ziploc bags, putting two cups of puree in each sandwich bag, then putting my sandwich bags in a labeled gallon-size freezer bag and freezing it. Just take a bag of puree out of the freezer the day before you're going to use it and thaw it in the fridge.

Now, for the seeds...

While you're roasting your pumpkins, take reserved bowl of seeds and remove the goop. Rinse the seeds off in a colander, and let them dry on a dish towel. After your pumpkins are out of the oven, reduce the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
I had the girls do this part for me because I wanted to pretend I'm a cool mom that does sensory activities with her kids. Plus I wanted to see how they react to pumpkin goop. Extra points if you find a cool book about textures at the library and read to them while they do the dirty work.

Toss your seeds in a few tablespoons of melted butter or oil and a few pinches of kosher salt. Put them on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to let them roast evenly. They should be golden brown when they're done. Let them cool, then eat them! I got about 1.5 cups of roasted seeds.

Now, remember how I said I spent $9 on pumpkins? I got the equivalent of 4 15-oz cans of organic pumpkin puree (my pumpkins were organic, not bragging, just stating. I'm not really an organic person unless it tastes really good) and 1.5 cups of roasted, salted pumpkin seeds. I saved about $7.50* by doing it myself. You might value convenience over price, but I think you should try it at least once! The flavor and pride you get from roasting your own pumpkins is worth it alone.

That sounded lame, but I'm sticking with it.

Do you have any pumpkin recipes you love? Send them my way! If you want to see any pumpkin recipes on the blog this fall, make a request in the comments and I'll do my darndest to make it happen!

Love you guys, see you on the flip flop!


*Compared to prices for similar items at Walmart.


  1. You tossed aside all of my arguments. But really, I feel like, "[I] ain' time for that".

    My Aunt Kris, who is a master homemaker (even working full-time until she retired at this is possible I'll never know...), says that canned and homemade pumpkin puree tastes about the same and SHE BUYS IT, even though she grows sugar pumpkins in her garden. lol

    But I do want to do it. Especially after making homemade baby food the legit way the other day. You get a sense of pride in doing something with your own hands. It'true.


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