The Lean Green Bean

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pumped about Pumpkin


As promised, I spent some nice in the kitchen this morning. I made pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice muffins and roasted pumpkin seeds and let me tell you...I am PUMPED about all of them!

First up....pumpkin puree. SO EASY and SO GOOD. I started this before I even ate breakfast this morning...and if you know probably know that I don't do much before eating in the morning....I get, to put it nicely, somewhat crabby, if I don't eat within about 15 minutes from the time my feet hit the floor. So...that should tell you how quick and easy it is to get this puree started.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

While it is preheating, wash your pumpkin and slice off the top, near the stem:

Slice it in half and scoop out the innards (I believe that's the second time this week I've used the word innards on this blog...weird) Anyways...DON'T THROW THEM AWAY. Scoop into a bowl and set aside:

Cut each half into 3-4 pieces and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with pumpkin #2. Add a very light drizzle of oil if you want...then into the oven for 40 minutes or so ( time for Cheerios and coffee):

After the pieces cool slightly, remove  the skin from each piece. Use a knife to get started, then peel the skin away slowly. If you're like me, you might derive great pleasure from seeing how many times you can get all the skin off in one piece :) Or you might not...

Once all the skin is off, place some of the pumpkin in the food processor (i prefer my mini one...surprise I did mine in batches...but you could fit it all in a big one, or if you don't have one you could mash with a potato masher!)

Puree until smooth, transfer to a bowl and do the next batch:

This made just over 2 cups so I used one cup in my muffins and put the other in the freezer:

Then I shared the leftovers with the dogs...they were in heaven. Apparently they love pumpkin. Check out those tongues :)

Next up? Muffins!!!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
*original recipe found here
-The original recipe has cinnamon and sugar topping and cream cheese frosting, but I skipped both of those...I'm back in health mode after vacation! But feel free to add them back in...and let me know how they taste!


  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cups Evaporated Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ cups Golden Raisins (I left these out...but I might put chocolate chips in next time!)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins. (I use muffin liners...way easier)

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. (If you don't have a should invest in one. I don't use mine often but it does come in handy from time to time. I remember my mom had a giant metal one that I loved using as a kid...but I got my little plastic one at the dollar like a charm!)

Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.(If you don't use evaporated milk often...make sure to heed the warning on both ends of the can to shake well before opening...otherwise it will all stick to the bottom and be gross! Not that I know from experience or anything...)

Pour into a greased muffin pans. I filled 12 big muffin tins and had enough extra to make 10 minis. Heaven :)

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

YUM!! There's not much flour these so you can really taste the pumpkin...nice and moist....delicious! Craving satisfied...on to the pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are also called pepitas...which I think is a much cooler word, so that's what I call them :)

Go back to your bowl of pumpkin goop and separate the seeds into a strainer, leaving the stringy pulp in the bowl. If you're slightly OCD like me, you may find it hard to stop until you have every last seed out of the bowl but trust me, it's not worth your time. Just get as many as you can, take a deep breath and throw the rest away:

Rinse the pepitas and pull out some more of the stringy pulp. Then spread out on a baking sheet to dry:

Once they've dried for a while, coat lightly with olive oil and season them however you want to. Since this was my first batch of the season, I kept it simple and just used a little salt and some cayenne pepper.

Bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or so..until they are slightly browned and crunchy!

Such a good snack! AND....check this out: Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds. All the more reason to munch away :)



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