Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Roasting Whole Squash For Fresh DIY Purée

I love Winter squash, but I've always been pretty certain that I'm going to lose a finger trying to cut them in half for cooking. That is why I LOVE this method for making purée from pumpkins, or from any other type of winter squash: It involves absolutely no hazardous cutting of hard squash! Also, the method is easy enough that there's never going to be a need to buy the canned stuff.

baking whole pumpkins

Literally, all you have to do is take your squash and bake it in the oven until it's soft. I preheat the oven to about 375. I find it essential to place a baking sheet on a lower rack, below the squash, to catch the drips. Rather than timing them, I determine their done-ness first by noticing them leaking liquid onto the baking sheet, and second by poking them with a knife. It should go in very easily. It might take 50 minutes to over an hour, depending on the size of the squash you are roasting.

baking whole pumpkins
Pumpkins will start leaking fluids when they are nearly done.
You may find that they cook more evenly if you rotate the squash onto a different side halfway through baking. With a small squash, this will hardly be necessary, but with something larger I've found it helps the squash to soften evenly on all sides. 

Once they're soft, remove them from the oven. I pull out the baking sheet first, and place the squash on it to cool. If you cut them in half they will cool faster. They will slice like butter.


roasted pumpkin

Once they cool enough that you can handle them easily, scoop out the seeds and gunk from the center. If you have any kind of farm animals, they will love this stuff. Even my cat eats it. Of course, you can roast the seeds for people as well.

Next, separate the flesh from the skin. This is easier with the thicker skinned pumpkins, a bit more of a hassle with butternut. Place all the flesh in a food processor, and blend until it looks like this:


homemade pumpkin puree

Use this puree to make whatever you like, from soups to pies, breads to ravioli. It's super easy and you'll never need the canned stuff again! I like to roast more than I need and freeze the excess. You could also can it after pureeing.

This roasting method works great for making delicious spaghetti squash as well!


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January 10, 2013 at 7:42 AM

I used to do this and then I moved to doing it in the microwave but didnt really like that, so this year I decided to give my pressure cooker a try. I did cut them open first and remove the seeds (I save many for next years plantings) and then put them in the pressure cooker for about 12 minutes. Fastest & best tasting way in my opinion.

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January 10, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I've never used a pressure cooker! That's a great idea to save seeds for planting Kim!

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January 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Great idea :) I'm a clutz when I cut up squash for baking, so this is very helpful! I would love to have you share this on The HomeAcre Hop!
http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/01/the-homeacre-hop-3.html

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January 10, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I know! It always seem so dangerous to me. I was so happy to discover that there is a better way!

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Kassandra
January 10, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Brilliant to not have to cut them cause i always felt that way too!!! Like a finger could come off. Thank you so much!!! And I always make the seeds into a great roasted snack...

I also always keep some extra puree in the freezer for my dogs...it is the best thing ever for ANY digestive problems...and they eat it right up...so it is a staple in my house. Good for dog weight loss too, as it fills them up for little calories, is very healthy and they don't notice the reduced kibble so much...per my vet.

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January 11, 2013 at 6:35 AM

Thanks Kassandra! Animals just love pumpkin, don't they? When I told a friend that my cat gobbles up pumpkin seeds, she said they are great for animals and have a natural anti-parasitic quality! Do your dogs eat the seeds as well? I think of cats as being strict carnivores, so I am always surprised at what our cat will choose to eat- he always likes to check out the bowl of scraps before we bring it to the chickens.

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January 14, 2013 at 3:46 AM

I always slice my squash to roast, but this would definitely be easier! We cook blue hubbard squash here, and you can't even cut that with a knife...usually we throw it down on a little concrete pad next to the door :-) Would love to have you link this up at what i am eating http://www.townsend-house.com/2013/01/what-i-am-eating-11.html

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January 14, 2013 at 4:01 AM

Ha ha, I like the image of just smashing it down on the walkway ;) I will check out your link-up, thanks!

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January 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Great directions!
Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

On the Gluten Free Fridays tab we have new badges for you to display on your blog. There are a few different choices for you. There are varying sizes as well. If you've had a featured recipe in the past, feel free to grab one of those badges as well! They are free for the taking; use as you wish! Thanks for supporting our GF community and spreading the word!

Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

See you at the link up this week!

Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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January 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Hi, a new follower here found you from the Chicken Chick blog hop. Great tutorial on kambocha, my first batch got moldy but I'm ready to try again. Pat from www.dogwoodlanerambles.blogspot.com

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January 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Patricia, do you have any idea why your kombucha molded? I've never seen it happen so I'm just curious. Thanks! Good luck next time!

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June 24, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Thanks for sharing this post on Wildcrafting Wednesday!!! I am still working on my Ginger Bug from your recipe, it is day 4 but not too bubbly yet. I will be patient.

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June 27, 2013 at 5:43 AM

Great idea! Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop! Come back this morning:

http://blackfoxhomestead.com/uncategorized/the-homeacre-hop-25/

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August 10, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Your recipe is wonderful, and thank you so much for sharing it with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are staying cool on this hot summers day, enjoy your weekend!
Miz Helen

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September 26, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Brilliant! I am looking forward to grabbing some pie pumpkins at Whole Foods for this over the weekend.

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