How to Cook Pumpkin
I like to use fresh pumpkin in my recipes. People tend to think that cooking a pumpkin is a complicated process, but it is actually quite simple. Plus also, you get the added bonus of toasted pumpkin seeds.
First, you start out with a pie pumpkins (not the big jack-o-lantern types). Now, wash ‘em.
Using a serrated (bread) knife, cut off the top. Pleeaase use the bread knife or a very sharp chef’s knife so that you don’t slip and cut off any fingers.
Then cut it in half, lengthwise.
Scoop out the innards, placing the seeds into a bowl of water so that the fleshy stuff will come off of them easily.
Scrape out the inside of the pumpkin with a spoon.
Get your steamer ready. If you need to, cut the pumpkin up into smaller, even-sized pieces.
Steam for about 10 minutes, depending on how large your pumpkin pieces are. When they are tender enough that you can easily stick a fork into them, they’re done.
Let the pumpkin cool for a while. When they are cool enough to pick up, peel the skin off.
Put the pumpkin into a bowl, then mash with a potato masher. You can mash it up really well and use it, but if you are more of the attention-to-detail type, you can puree it with a submersion blender or food processor.
I like to freeze the puree in half-cup portions so that it is simple to use in future recipes.
Now, back to the seeds . . .
After your seeds have been soaking, pour them into a strainer and rinse them off. Separate them from the stringy stuff.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Next, put them into boiling water. The recipe I referred to says to use 1 cup of water for each half cup of seeds. I just used 1 cup for whatever I had here. Just make sure they can move around freely. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt and bring down to a simmer.
Let the seeds simmer for about 10 minutes, then drain them.
Spread them out onto a cookie sheet. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Swirl the seeds around in the coconut oil so that they are all covered.
As you can see, I didn’t use all of the seeds from the pumpkin. You will probably have more than this (I used a small cookie sheet). I can’t make too many at a time or else I will eat them all and make myself sick. Sad, but true.
Put them in the oven–I had them on the middle rack–for about 15 minutes. Check them after about seven minutes and stir them up. Keep an eye on them. They should be a nice, golden brown when you take them out.
Let them cool thoroughly so you don’t scorch your mouth. Give them a try first, and add salt if they need it. You may also add a dash of cayenne, garlic powder, and/or onion powder.
Enjoy them plain, or combined with dried fruit and nuts in a trail mix.
© Liz Davis If CaveMom Baked Cookies 2012 | How to Cook Pumpkin