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 (this bundle sale is now over) 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)
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp pureed pumpkin
- 1 tbsp organic vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp raw organic honey (optional)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg or allspice
- 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso (best to use espresso if possible)
- pinch of cocoa powder
Brew your coffee or espresso. In a sauce pan heat the coconut milk, pureed pumpkin, and honey until it is bubbling and steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Divide between two coffee cups (or one really large one), then pour in your strong coffee or espresso. If you want to get really fancy you can add some whipped coconut cream and then the pinch of cocoa powder.
How to Make a Large Batch of Paleo Pumpkin Spice Lattes
If you are making lattes for lots of people, and have the time, you could try multiplying the recipe then heating the coconut milk, pumpkin, vanilla, honey and spices in a slow cooker so all the flavors meld together. Then just add the hot espresso/strong coffee right before serving.
So get into the spirit of the season, and save some money, by making these yourself. If you can share a paleo pumpkin spice latte with a friend that’s even better.
Happy fall! (THE BUNDLE SALE IS NOW OVER)
If you would like to see more recipes like this as well as TONS more information and discounts there’s still time to get in on the ebook bundle deal – but only through October 14th!
A bunch of folks “unsubscribed” from my blog after the email went out with the previous post on this Harvest Your Health deal. There are lots of reasons this happens. Some people may not remember they subscribed and think I’m spam. Others are just tired of getting the e-mails (perfectly understandable – I should probably move to a weekly newsletter at some point) and still others may be annoyed by the commercial nature of the post. If you fall into that latter camp, I want you to know while I do make a commission if you purchase this bundle, I would not bring you the offer it I did not truly believe it is a terrific deal. There are a few books on the list that I have wanted for a while and the purchase price of the bundle is still less than I would otherwise have paid. And any commission I make on this deal will go toward a facelift for the Paleo Spirit website that is LONG overdue. So if you do end up purchasing this bundle I want to thank you immensely for your support!
Yum! I think i’m gonna make myself one when i go home for lunch today! 😉
And on a somewhat related note, I had an aha moment the other day when i realized i don’t actually need to peel butternut squash. We’ve been getting some every week in our CSA and peeling it takes forever. Plus, I sometimes cut myself with the peeler. Well, I diced and roasted some last night with the skin on. Turned out great. I think i actually prefer it with skin anyhow. So sad i’ve been wasting all that time and energy. 🙁
We grew these pumpkins this year and I just got my first one off this week! Looking forward to roasting it and making something yummy. 🙂
Congratulations! They are gorgeous aren’t they? Good luck using it to make something delicious and healthy.
My whole pumpkin is in the oven now! I couldn’t cut it up if I wanted to (not without losing a finger or two). Glad you tried it whole, that was a good call. 🙂
It turned out beautifully following your directions! This will be my first of many, we have about 7 left in the garden. Thanks again!
I’m so glad I found your method for how to cook a whole pumpkin – I love pumpkin and squash but I, too, hate cutting them up. I’m going to try this with a pumpkin – for surre – but I also want to try it for acorn squash etc. Thanks for posting this!!! Pinning it for sure!!
Can you freeze in glass jars like that?
The jars in the photo are not great for freezing. To freeze in glass jars it is best to use mason jars that are straight up and down – no “shoulder” curve. And make sure you don’t fill it all the way to the top. Often there is a line on those jars that show how far up you can fill them. Otherwise they might break in the freezer.
This latte was delicious! Thanks for sharing a healthier version!
Thank you for putting out a way to roast a whole pumpkin! I make a lot of winter squash and sweet potato soup and this just made it that much easier! Not to mention it helps heat the house.
Last year I roasted my pumpkin on the grill! I cut it in half and put the halves on foil on the top rack. It took a while, but the grill heat caramelizes. Kind of like roasting marshmallows, I let them get charred in a place or two because I wasn’t watching that close. Made great pies and also pumpkin black bean soup. And this was an orange “decorator” pumpkin. It was fine.
Last week I cut a jack o lantern and I used a pumpkin that looked like your cheese pumpkin. I had heard I think on Splendid Table that you could use the stringy stuff so I go the seeds out and the guts, along with some chunks that I did cut out of the pumpkin walls. I cooked it all on top of the stove in a stainless skillet for about 45 minutes at simmer. Puréed in blender and have made some awesome pumpkin whole wheat quinoa flour waffles and added some to some veggie soup when I cleaned out the frig for the week.
This method is one of the few on the web for roasting pumpkins whole. I have a bumper crop of cheese pumpkins this year and plan to do this with all of them. I did see in one recipe that they poked a few slits into the pumpkin to allow the steam to escape. Do you think it’s necessary?
Probably couldn’t hurt but maybe not absolutely necessary.