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In the kitchen with Kelley: Real homemade pumpkin puree

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I don’t know about you but I was recently shocked to discover that the canned pumpkin I had been using to make pumpkin pies for over a decade now is not actually pumpkin.

It’s a golden-fleshed winter squash. Supposedly this squash makes for a better textured pie, and with pumpkins being mostly hollow, I imagine for the food industry that using squash instead allows them more bang for their buck.

Is it a big deal? After all pumpkin is a type of squash.

Still, I can’t imagine continuing this farce another season as my freshly carved pumpkin stares at me from the stoop. Something’s just not right about it…

So last weekend, after a marathon day of pumpkin carving, I decided to save a few and make homemade pumpkin puree. It wasn’t half as difficult as I had envisioned and now I have several freezer bags of the orange stuff to use, not only in pie and soup, but I can have a decadent pumpkin dessert at a moment’s notice. My new favorite after-dinner snack is a small bowlful of warmed puree with a little drizzle of maple syrup, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. Sweet enough, but not enough to make me feel guilty.

One reason to feel good about eating pumpkin: You get lots of vitamin A in just one cup — twice the recommended daily allowance. That’s great news for your eyes, skin, teeth and bones.

And don’t forget to save your seeds when you carve your pumpkin.

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