After Halloween is over, turn your freshly carved Jack o’ Lantern into roasted pumpkin puree for your Thanksgiving pies. Don’t throw those seeds away either. They can be tossed in salt and roasted at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes until golden brown.
Easy Roasted Pumpkin
To roast a pumpkin, I cut it in half across the pumpkin, rather than from stem to stern. Then I scoop out the seeds and throw them in our compost bucket. Some people like to roast the pumpkin seeds with salt to make a snack. They can also be roasted without salt, ground up, and added to baked goods for added nutrition. According to the University of Illinois Extension, orange pumpkins are loaded with beta carotene, a plant carotenoid that converts to vitamin A inside your body.
Next I place the pumpkin, cut side down, on an ungreased cookie sheet. If you want to avoid the aluminum in the baking sheet, place a piece of parchment paper down first. I roast the pumpkin at 350 degrees until the pulp is soft. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, this roasting process takes at least an hour and a half, frequently longer. I use a fork to check for softness.
When the roasted pumpkin is cooled, I scrape the insides into a food processor and puree the pulp before freezing. It’s easier to puree before freezing than after. The roasted shells also go into the compost bucket for next year’s garden fertilizer. I package the pumpkin puree in 2 cup portions.
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