Pumpkin Purée and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min (pumpkin); 15-20 min (seeds)

Fall is my favorite time of year, and it would not be complete without brightly colored mums, apple cider, and pumpkins. After some time those small pie pumpkins begin to stare back at you whispering “Eat me, eat me. Turn me into something good.” You look back wistfully at the pumpkins and realize you have absolutely no clue how to do that. So, while you’ve got pumpkin on the brain anyways, you head to the grocery store and purchase a can of pumpkin purée for a whopping total of $3.99 for 15 oz. Ouch.

That’s where today’s recipe comes in. We’re making pumpkin purée and pumpkin seeds. Not only does this get the most bang for the buck and a half you spent on said pie pumpkin, but you can feel somewhat healthy about making pumpkin delicacies, because, hey, you’ve also been eating pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients

1 pie pumpkin

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Remove stem, and CAREFULLY slice the pumpkin in half, from stem to bottom. I don’t want any knife accidents a la my sister in sixth grade while pumpkin carving (Happily, she has since recovered.)

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3. Scoop the seeds and membrane from the core of the pumpkin, and set aside.

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4. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and place both halves on it, scoop side up.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the flesh of the pumpkin is tender. I like to poke a fork in and see how easily it is.
6. Remove pumpkin halves from oven and allow to cool for approximately a half hour, or until you are able to touch it comfortably with your hands.
7. Scoop the flesh of the pumpkin and place into food processor. Pulse several times, or on high, until it turns into purée.

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Pumpkin seeds

1. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.
2.Separate the pumpkin seeds from membrane and rinse.
3.Pat dry, toss onto nonstick baking sheet, and sprinkle with a bit of salt, depending on your preferences.
4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the seeds are crunchy. Watch carefully during the last few minutes, because these little guys burn easily. I can personally attest to this – and burnt seeds are not salvageable.

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See how easy that was? I’m telling you, it’s going to feel fantastic once you’re done. You’re going to feel like a true pioneer. Like you could even make homemade yogurt or bread.

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