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Why you Should Buy a Baking Pumpkin Instead of a Carving Pumpkin

How to peel a Baking Pumpkin

I’m on what you might call a crusade this Halloween season to persuade the masses, or whomever will listen, about the virtues of buying a baking pumpkin instead of a carving pumpkin. You see, a baking pumpkin you can eat and a carving pumpkin actually just serves the same purpose as a gourd that you decorate and throw out (though the seeds are good). Yes, everyone enjoys gutting a pumpkin, but eating them is much more useful, eco-friendly and practical.

Buy a Baking Pumpkin Instead of a Carving Pumpkin

For starters, baking pumpkins are sold buy their weight, not by their size – so you get more for your money. Second, like I mentioned above, they’re edible. So instead of them sitting on your porch (which you can do with a baking pumpkin, too), a baking pumpkin can sit in your stomach. Ahh, the satisfaction!

And just because you bake it doesn’t mean that you can’t safely decorate a baking pumpkin first. This way you can enjoy it for both Halloween and Thanksgiving!

Here is a baking pumpkin safely decorated with

Baking pumpkin decorated with glow in the dark paint

There are two ways to prepare a pumpkin so it can be enjoyed in all your favorite pumpkin recipes: baking and boiling. I’m going to show you the latter.

How to Peel, Boil and Pureé a Pumpkin

Before you start, fill a large pot with water and heat it on the stove. By the time you preped the pumpkin the water should be boiled.

1. Peel a Pumpkin

The best way to peel a pumpkin is with a sharp knife. But first cut off the stem and bottom so that it can sit on your cutting board without rolling around. You like your fingers, right?

2. Scoop Out the Guts

EORPumpkin_puree_dice

See, you still get to do a little gutting. Cut the pumpkin in half first. You can use your hands, though I prefer using an ice cream scoop. In this step you also want to reserve the seeds for frying or baking.

3. Dice the Pumpkin Flesh

Dice up the remaining flesh of the pumpkin, like you’d cut up potatoes to boil.

4. Boil

The big difference between baking a pumpkin and boiling a pumpkin, from my perspective, is that baking takes 60 minutes and boiling takes 30. Save time, save energy.

5. Strain out the Water

Empty your pot of boiled pumpkin into a strainer and let it sit until there is no more steam. By releasing the steam you’ll keep your pureé thick and not watery.

6. Pureé in a Blender

That’s pretty self explanatory I hope.

7. Portion and Freeze

How to freeze Pumpkin puree

I realize this looks like the Hungry Hippo Game.

This is the fun part! This is where you pull out all your favorite pumpkin recipes and determine how much pumpkin goes in each. Then you portion out your pumpkin pureé so that you have exactly what you need for each recipe.

Below is a photo of a freezer bag that I segmented into 4 portions – two 1 cup portions and two 3/4 cup portions. As you can see, I used chip clips to help separate the portions.

DIY Pumpkin puree smoothie recipe

8. Enjoy the BEST pumpkin recipes!

Below I’ve linked to some of my all time favorite pumpkin recipes!!

1. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes recipe from Mother Thyme

1 cup pumpkin pureé

2. Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe from Skinny Mom’s Kitchen

1 cup  frozen pumpkin pureé – which is perfect because we’re freezing the pureé!

3. Pumpkin Cranberry Biscotti Recipe from Confessions of a Tart

3/4 cup pumpkin pureé

4. Pumpkin Tarts with Maple Glaze from Joy the Baker

3/4 cup pumpkin pureé

5. Pumpkin Biscuits from Eve of Reduction

 

So I had to come up with my own recipe after all!

1 cup pureed pumpkin that was frozen and thawed, but still very cold*

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

5 ts. baking powder

1 ts. salt

2 tb. sugar

2/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 butter, cold, cut up in small pieces

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together the pumpkin puree and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Then add in the coconut oil and butter bits. Work the fats into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or your hands. You want it to be crumbly. Add the pumpkin/buttermilk mixture. Now it will be cold, and very gooey.

Add an ample amount of flour to your work surface. Place down the dough and top it with about 1/8 cup of flour. Spread the flour around as you roll and pat the dough into a rectangle. Cut the dough into about 12 rectangular biscuits. Transfer them to an ungreased cookie sheet. Nest the cookie sheet in another cookie sheet that’s the same size or larger. Bake for 12-14.

*NOTE: The pumpkin in this recipe adds moisture, but not a lot of flavor per se. So if you want a traditional pumpkin tasting outcome, add 2 ts. cinnamon and 1/4 ts. nutmeg.

These pumpkin biscuits were a huge hit with my family! They wanted me to make more the next night. So I decided to wait and have them on Thanksgiving as an anticipated part of our special meal.

_____________________

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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4 Responses to Why you Should Buy a Baking Pumpkin Instead of a Carving Pumpkin

  1. Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY October 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to buy baking pumpkins and make fresh pumpkin puree, and I wondered if there was a difference between the two. Thanks for the info!

    • Eve October 20, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Yeah, it’s really cool that you can decorate and eat pie pumpkins. Baking pumpkins also last a long time so you can enjoy them as decorations for several weeks then puree them.

  2. Jean October 25, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    I did not know that about letting the steam escape. I think that will help me a lot this year. I do know that if you put hot pumpkin or, let’s say, tomatoes into a blender, it will explode all over your kitchen. Not that I’ve done that or anything . . . ;-)
    Jean recently posted…Sometimes the Right Thing is the HardestMy Profile

    • Eve October 25, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      Jean, thanks for the tip! One time I was using a whip cream dispenser with a CO2 cartridge and it shot all over my kitchen. My kids wanted to lick the cupboards. Pumpkin or tomatoes – much less desirable ; )

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