I used to think that edible pumpkin only came from cans. Even in the Real Foods movement, canned pumpkin is often called for in recipes. I think this is because it’s so hard to cut through the tough skin to open a pumpkin.
I found the easy way to cook a whole pumpkin and I want to make sure you all know it too.
Now there will be no need to look for BPA-free canned pumpkin with no additives. Nature put pumpkin in its perfect packaging, and it’s economical too.
The only ingredient you’ll be cooking with is a Sugar Pumpkin – not the same as the ones we carve for Halloween, this type has soft, sweet flesh.
How to Cook a Whole Pumpkin
- Wash the pumpkin to rinse off any dirt.
- Place it in a glass baking dish.
- Put it in the oven and turn it on to 425 degrees – there’s no need to preheat your oven.
- Bake it for 1 hour.
- You’ll know it’s done when you squeeze it with oven mitts on and you can leave an imprint on the skin. The actual baking time may vary slightly with pumpkin size.
- Remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
- Cut the pumpkin in half, carefully releasing the steam away from you, then scoop out the seeds with a large spoon.
- Scoop out the flesh. Place it in a blender of food processor and process it for a minute or two if you want pumpkin with a pureed texture.
- Use immediately in any recipe that calls for plain pumpkin, or store it in a container in the freezer.
My medium-sized Sugar Pumpkin became about 5 cups of cooked pumpkin – 2 of which I used to make muffins today!
This recipe also works for other types of winter squash, but may cook for up to 90 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it’s soft when you squeeze it!
If you enjoy this idea, please share this post with a pumpkin-lover you know!