Using pumpkin to make healthy meals this fall? Why not make your own pumpkin puree? Making your own pumpkin puree may sound like it might be hard, but really it is a lot simpler than you may think. Making your own puree can save you money, it’s not packaged or processed, and you know for a fact that it is totally gluten-free. 😉

Choosing and Prepping your Pumpkin

Before you get to making your pumpkin puree, you have a few preparation steps to begin with. This starts with selecting the right pumpkin. Keep in mind you are going to be roasting the pumpkin in the oven after cutting it in half or into quarters, so you need it to be small enough to fit properly. It is better to go with multiple smaller pumpkins than just one massive pumpkin, or it is difficult to cut and roast.

After selecting your pumpkin, cut it in half and remove the pulp and seeds from the center. Keep the seeds in a separate bowl if you intend to roast them later. Remove at least most of the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin, though don’t worry if there is a little remaining. This is not as important as when you are planning to carve a pumpkin.

Roasting Your Pumpkin

Once you have cut open your pumpkin and removed the seeds and pulp, you are ready to roast it. You should have your oven turned to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for this. While the oven is preheating, grab a baking sheet and put the pumpkin halves directly on it. There is no need to use parchment paper or aluminum foil. If you chose a larger pumpkin, you may need to cut it into quarters and possibly use more than one baking sheet.

When the oven is preheated, put the pumpkin in the oven and roast for about 30-45 minutes, or until it is tender. You can easily test this with a fork. Your pumpkin flesh should be a light golden brown color when it is done roasting.

Making the Pumpkin Puree

When the pumpkin is done cooking, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Once cool, you can start making your puree. Remove the skin from the pumpkin it’s easier to just scoop out the flesh. The skin should be easy to remove now that it is fully roasted. Get out your food processor and start placing large chunks of pumpkin inside. Depending on how much water was in your pumpkin, you may need to add a little water to the pumpkin, and it will turn into puree easily. You can also mash it first with a potato masher before putting it in. Store it in a container with a lid, and place it in the refrigerator. You can also freeze your fresh puree for up to 14 months.