It’s the time of year of all things pumpkin! I am jumping on the bandwagon big time with instructions on roasting a whole pumpkin and a recipe for a paleo pumpkin spice latte.
Our CSA has recently been offering THE most gorgeous pumpkins. Our farmer,Sara, explained that “Cheese” Pumpkins (presumably because they look like a big wheel of cheese?) are especially great for baking. The last few visits to farm have yielded a few of these pumpkins – now what to do with them?
Having never cooked a pumpkin before, I took to Facebook to ask the folks if they roast their pumpkins whole or cut them up. Almost everyone advised me to cut it up first so it would cook faster and “more evenly”. But I was feeling very lazy and I don’t know about you but I HATE trying to cut pumpkins or butternut squash. I always feel like I am going to stab myself or cut off a finger. So I decided to gamble and just cook the thing whole. It was a risk because no matter where I searched online the only whole-pumpkin-cooking references I found were for much smaller sugar pumpkins. But my process ended up working out beautifully and I wanted to share it in case anyone else has a larger pumpkin they want to cook.
How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
- Wash the pumpkin thoroughly
- Place the pumpkin in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate its size
- Rub some oil into the skin of the pumpkin – this will help keep it from burning
- Pour two to three cups of water into the bottom of the pan
- Place the pan with the pumpkin into the oven and roast for 90 minutes – keep your eyes on it towards the end to ensure there is not a lot of scorching happening
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pumpkin to cool off (it will continue cooking) for at least 30 minutes but longer if necessary to ensure it is cool enough to handle
*My pumpkin weighed approximately 10 pounds and was about 14-16 inches wide. So you may need to adjust the time depending on the size of your pumpkin
- Once the roasted whole pumpkin is adequately cooled, cut it in half and remove the seeds and fibers (save the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds and throw out the rest).
- Cut off the skin and use a food processor (or high speed blender) to puree the pumpkin until smooth. You will have to do this in several batches.
- Put the pumpkin puree into containers and refrigerate or freeze for future use
I roasted my whole cheese pumpkin on a Saturday when I was just hanging around the house anyway. So taking the extra time to cook was not an issue and it was nice not to have to battle with cutting it up prior to cooking. The pumpkin yielded approximately 10 cups of pumpkin puree! -two of these large mason jars and then about half of another one.
The puree was nicely sweet and very smooth and I could not get over the color. Look at the orange. The screen does not do it justice.
Once I had enough pumpkin puree to feed a small army, I was on the lookout for great paleo pumpkin recipes. Coincidentally, I came across several after downloading the Harvest Your Health Bundle Sale a few days ago. One of the first recipes that caught my attention was one for paleo pumpkin spice lattes.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a favorite this time of year and Starbucks seems to have cornered the market. I admit to being a fan of Starbucks and my usual drink there is a Grande Americano with Heavy Cream (no sugar). When the fall season arrives, indulging in a Pumpkin Spice Latte a time or two is on the agenda. But, honestly, the way pumpkin spice lattes are served at Starbucks is just WAY too sweet for me. Typically, I ordered the latte with only one pump of syrup which always makes me question the wisdom of paying a premium for something and then eliminating the premium ingredients! Sigh. So I REALLY just need to make these at home and making them dairy-free would be ideal.
I found a recipe in the bundle from the book “A Paleo Pumpkin Thanksgiving”. by George Bryant. This recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Spice Lattes is easy to make, dairy-free, has a more prominent pumpkin flavor (it uses puree!) and you can adjust the sweetness to your own taste. (recipe used with permission from George, photo is my own) Continue reading