11.21.2013

Thrifty Thursday: Penny Pinching Pumpkins

We're past Thanksgiving here in Canada and hurtling towards Christmas at a fevered pitch. We finally got around to taking down my Harvest/Halloween decor outside to make room for some Christmas cheer.  I had 2 lovely pie pumpkins that had been sitting on my step for the past month and I was just about ready to chuck them in the compost bin when I realised that I could do  much more with these little earthy decorations.

And so the journey began for my 2 pie pumpkins.

I love pumpkin pie, but unfortunately I just don't have time to make a whole pie.  But I certainly didn't want to waste my fresh pumpkins.  So I made my own pumpkin puree and froze it to use at a later date when I have more pie-making time.  Making your own pumpkin puree is ridiculously easy and cost effective.  Way cheaper than the canned variety from the grocery store.  And not too mention its not tinned or processed or filled with chemicals.

Here's what I did:

I cut the tops off the 2 pie pumpkins and then cut them in half.  I then cleaned out all their innards.  But don't throw them out! I scooped out all the seeds and set them aside for a little something else.



Then I cut up the pumpkin into big chunks and place on 2 cookie sheets.  Face up or down it doesn't matter, either one works just fine.  And then into the oven the went.  350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until fork tender.  Warning, roasting your pumpkins will make your house smell delicious!
Once out of the oven I let them cool and removed the yummy pumpkin from the skins.  And then into the Vitamix it went.  Depending on how moist your pumpkin is you may need to add a bit of water to the mixture.  Then blend till smooth.  Easy!  I then placed 1 cup of the gorgeous orange puree into Ziploc bags, smoothed them flat and popped them in the freezer.  Perfect for muffins, pies and smoothies.  And it's pre-measured so cooking will be a cinch. I ended up with about 6 cups of pumpkin in my deep freeze.

Now to the pumpkin seeds; yup, I roasted them and so glad I did. After cleaning off the seeds I boiled them in a bit of salt water for about 10 minutes.  I read somewhere it makes them crunchier, but who knows. After draining the seeds I dumped them in a bowl and drizzled them with oil and a good amount of Jerk seasoning.  They were spread on the cookie sheet I used for roasting the pumpkin and into the oven they went and they roasted on the top rack at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes.  I checked and stirred them about every 15 minutes to make sure they didn't burn.  Needless to say I couldn't wait until they cooled off to start filling my face.  The Jerk Seasoning added a fantastic hint of sweet & heat and the bowl didn't survive the night.  My husband and I AND Alice inhaled the roasted pumpkin seeds and they were gone before we realized what had happened.


Last but not least was the roasted pumpkin skins.  I used them to feed our little worm hotel. Can't forget about the worms!

So our little pumpkins were transformed quite easily into so much more than just compost.  From decoration to dessert to snacks to compost; talk about getting your bang for your buck!  Kinda wish I had some more pumpkins right about now.
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4 comments:

  1. Amazing, I absolutely love that not a single bit of those pumpkins went to waste :-) #ThriftyThursday

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  2. I love how you've even managed to get the worms fed with this - very thrifty!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I feel a bit of a rush when I end up with zero waste. Guess I'm just a nerd that way! :)

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