Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cooking Pumpkin the Lazy Way

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I may have discovered the easiest way possible to have a big stash of pumpkin puree in your freezer for winter and it's so cheap, too! Want to hear it? Stab some slits into a whole pumpkin with a large knife (sounds dangerous, but really it felt much safer than trying to cut the thing in half!). If you don't feel like you got good slits made you can always go back and make some more once it has cooked a little and softened, but you do want to make sure there is a way for the steam to escape to you don't end up with an exploded pumpkin in your oven!

Place pumpkin in the oven whole. (You may want to put a cookie sheet under it to catch drips)

Cook for about 3 hours at 350 or until the shell is getting well browned and pumpkin is fairly easy to puncture. Let it cool.

Split it open and scoop out the seeds and guts. This was my favorite part. It was so easy, there was no fighting with stringy pumpkin guts trying to convince them to let go. Nope, they just slid right out, easy peasy.

Now your pumpkin is ready to be scooped out and turned into what every tasty treats you have in store for it. Or, divide it up into quart size freezer bags and freeze for future use. (I find that 2 cups per bag is a convenient amount for cooking with).

So that, that. A $2 pumpkin, about 15 minutes of hands-on time and 16 cups of pumpkin to stash in the freezer.  Frugal and easy, it's a hard combination to beat!

So far I have used this method with Spaghetti Squash as well and it worked wonderful. If you try another type of squash let me know how it turns out!

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