In this illustrated tutorial, I’ll show you how to make pumpkin puree + how to roast pumpkin seeds with an easy smoky sweet spice mix. Freezer friendly!
Roasting pumpkin, pureeing the flesh and roasting its seeds couldn’t be simpler. My favorite pumpkins to cook and bake with include sugar pie pumpkin (pictured below) or winter luxury pumpkin. I’ve included a tutorial on how to roast pumpkin and how to prepare and roast sweet and smoky pumpkin seeds. *Kabocha and butternut squash can be roasted the same as pumpkin, although I’ve not tried their seeds.
How To Make Pumpkin Puree
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the pumpkin in half. If saving the seeds, using a metal spoon and/or your hands, scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the seeds in a bowl of water. Set aside (see below for roasting seeds). If the seeds will not be saved, roast the pumpkin, or squash with the seeds and scoop them out after roasting. It’s much easier! Place pumpkins skin side up on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until flesh is soft and fragrant.
After removing from the oven, allow the pumpkins to cool until they can be safely handled.
If you roasted the pumpkin with seeds, use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard. Otherwise, scoop out the flesh. Puree the flesh of one pumpkin at a time in a high speed blender. Puree’ on low speed, then increase to high for about 20-30 seconds. Periodically, scrape the container down as the pumpkin really sticks to the side. Blend again for 30-40 seconds, stopping to scrape when needed. Blend until silky smooth or desired consistency is reached. Pumpkin can be pureed using a food processor as well.
I like to store my puree in freezer bags at 15 oz each. This is the same amount one would find in a can of pumpkin puree’. I’ve frozen my puree up to 4 months and have had good results.
An alternative freezing method that I’ve used is to freeze the puree’ in ice cube trays, pop the puree’ out when frozen and place in freezer bags. This is convenient when making smoothies or you need a smaller quantity of pumpkin.
For two sugar pie pumpkins I yielded three freezer bags of 15 oz each.
Pictured below, on the right, is a winter luxury pumpkin.
How To Prepare and Roast Pumpkin Seeds
On to the seeds! I know, they can be such a stringy mess. But, I hope this method will take some of the frustration out of preparing pumpkin seeds.
The seeds you’re roasting will still have a seed coat on them, so they are chewy. The pepitas are inside that white seed coat. I don’t recommend peeling each seed, rather, the entire seed is to be enjoyed!
In the bowl of water with the pumpkin seeds, give them a good agitation. Swish them around! Discard the solids. Place the seeds in a colander to drain. Place seeds on a towel and cover with another towel. Blot dry. Be patient here, this takes a few minutes. As you continue to blot, some of the pumpkin solids will fall away.
Preheat or turn oven down to 300F. Place the dry seeds (they’ll still be a bit slippery) on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 Tbs of coconut oil over the seeds and use your hands to toss the seeds until they are all coated. I recommend about 1 Tbs of coconut oil per cup of seeds. Sprinkle the following spices for a smoky sweet blend (or create your own favorite blend!):
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbs Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Smoky Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Toss with hands to distribute the seasoning. Roast seeds for about 30 minutes. Store in covered container.
It’s Fall, y’all! Enjoy the pumpkins!