Learn how to cook pumpkin with the Complete Guide For Cooking Pumpkin which includes a video, free printable, step by step photo tutorial along with the benefits of pumpkin and FAQ's. Pumpkin is GAPS diet legal, paleo and whole 30 friendly - it's a real food treat.
You know those pumpkin recipes you have? They are just about to get better!
I love to stock up on discounted pumpkins after Halloween! I was even able to work a deal with the owner of a local pumpkin patch to glean his pumpkins after Oct 31 which means, we loaded our van with pumpkins and they are coming out our ears! ;)
The nice thing about pumpkin (a winter squash) is their ability to keep for long periods of time if they are kept cool and dry.
Proper Pumpkin Storage
One year, I made the mistake of leaving them outside when the temperatures dropped below freezing. Needless to say, it did not take very long and they began to rot. Thankfully, it was not a total loss - the cows loved them!
So, now I store any excess pumpkins in the basement workroom where they will be protected from the weather and stay cool. As I have time, I will cook and freeze them and, of course, toast the pumpkin seeds!
After I show you how to cook pumpkin (and don't forget the free illustrated printable at the bottom of the post for you!), we will look at the benefits of pumpkin for your health.
2 Ways to Cook Pumpkin
There are basically two ways to cook pumpkin, in the oven (roasting pumpkin) and on the stove (boiling pumpkin). My preferred way to cool pumpkin is in the oven.
How to Cook Pumpkin in the Oven - Roasting Pumpkin
I learn best by watching someone so be sure to watch the video to find out how I cook pumpkin in the oven. To me, it is easier plus, it enhances the flavor of the pumpkin.
How to Cook Pumpkin Video Resources
I love to see what other people are using so here are a couple of things that I use in the video. These items are linked to Amazon so, if you have Amazon prime, they will ship free!
- Knives - After having the same knives for years, I got these Cuisinart knives and love them.
- Cutting Board - This cutting board also comes in handy especially if you are cutting smaller pumpkins. When cutting really big pumpkins, I normally just cut them on the counter being careful not to let my knives hit the counter so they don't get dull.
How to Cook Pumpkin on the Stove - Boiling Pumpkin
- Peel and cube the pumpkin. Using a potato peeler makes peeling easier. Peeling can be done before boiling or afterwards. If you peel the pumpkin afterwards, be sure to allow it to cool before handling.
- Place pumpkin in a boiler and fill with water.
- Bring water to a boil and boil until tender - about 30 - 45 mins.
Best Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
- Pumpkin Bread or Muffins
- Pumpkin Soup with Dumplings
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Blender Recipe
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Pumpkin Pie Pudding
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Butter
How to Store Cooked Pumpkin
- Use immediately in recipe of choice.
- Store cooked pumpkin in the refrigerator - keeps about 7 days.
- Place in freezer bags or containers and freeze - keeps at least a year.
What is Pumpkin Puree?
Pumpkin puree is simply the cooked pumpkin blended and smooth.
How Do I Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree?
Homemade Pumpkin Puree is made by cooking or roasting the pumpkin as has been described, scraping the pumpkin flesh into a food processor or blender and blending until smooth. Store in the fridge for a week or freeze for months.
How to Cook Pumpkin Photo Tutorial:
First, cut the stem out of the pumpkin top and cut the pumpkin in half. You can take the seeds out either before or after you cut the pumpkin in half.
In the center, you will find stringy pulp and seeds. Pull this out with your hands or scrape out with a spoon and set aside. You will notice that it is somewhat slimy feeling. That is normal just get in there and get to work! I promise, it will be worth it!
Cut crescent shape wedges of pumpkin from the top of the pumpkin to the bottom, about 2 inches wide. Following the grooves in the pumpkin shell make it easier to cut.
Place the wedges on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350F until a fork inserts easily through the shell and the meat is tender - about 45 min.
Allow the wedges to cool enough to handle. Using a knife, trim off the shell.
Now, you are ready to mash and use the pumpkin, puree it or even put it in the freezer containers to freeze and use later. If I am not going to use the pumpkin immediately, I cube it, place it in freezer bags and freeze it. Then, when I am ready, so is my pumpkin!
8 Benefits of Pumpkin - Why You Should Learn How to Cook Pumpkin and Eat It!
1. Pumpkin can help you loses weight.
Pumpkin is high in fiber which makes you feel fuller. This means you will eat less! Pumpkin has about 3 grams in every cup and each cup of pumpkin only has about 50 calories in it. The high fiber content is also excellent for you colon health.
2. Pumpkin is good for your eyes and your eyesight.
Because of the high amount of vitamin A found in pumpkin (almost twice the recommended daily allowance) it is especially good eye support. The vitamin A can help with declining retinal function and the carotenoids in pumpkint are also converted to vitamin A in your body. The carotenoids (also know as beta-carotene) give pumpkin their bright orange color.
3. Pumpkin may help prevent cancer.
Pumpkins are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene which have been shown to help prevent cancer by the NCI. When looking for beta-carotene look for orange veggies like carrots, butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
4. Pumpkin may help promote better sleep and mood.
Tryptophan is found in pumpkin seeds in high amounts. Tryptophan is found in milk and turkey and is the reason that you feel so sleepy after your Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner. Although, some say that it is the overeating that causes the drowsiness after these normally large meals! Tryptophan helps the body make serotonin which is a happy hormone that helps you relax. The serotonin can help improve your mood while the tryptophan can help you sleep.
5. Pumpkin can help build your immune system.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin C. One cup of cooked pumpkin has about 11 milligrams of vitamin C! The amount of vitamin C found in pumpkin is about twenty percent of the recommended daily intake level for women!
6. Pumpkin can help lower blood pressure.
It is actually the pumpkin seed oil that is thought to help decrease blood pressure so, be sure to toast those seeds! Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens. Research has shown that phytoestrogens can help prevent hypertension.
7. Pumpkin is heart healthy.
Again, it is the seeds that we are talking about mainly. But, given its high vitamin levels and low calorie content, pumpkin itself is a wonderful addition to a healthy lifestyle. Pumpkin seeds, like other seeds and nuts, are naturally high in the chemicals called phytosterols. Research has shown that these phytosterols help reduce LDL or the bad cholesterol.
8. Pumpkin helps protect the skin and keep it young looking.
Carotenoids found in pumpkin are what neutralize the free-radicals that can cause cancer and damage in the body. Carotenoids are the same chemicals that help your eyes and prevent cancer - they are good to have around!
Download the Illustrated Printable: How to Cook Pumpkin
These printables are intended for personal use only and not for resale. Please do not alter or sell them without my personal written consent.