Pumpkin Flavored Everything….
Yep, that pretty much sums up the fall. And rightly so – this beautiful orange vegetable is packed with powerful vitamins and antioxidants. More info about the benefits of pumpkin here.
For the last month or so, our house has been decorated with several of the sweet pie pumpkins that our family grew in their garden this summer. Now it’s time to do something with those “decorative” pie pumpkins.
We decided to roast them.
This week, we went to work in the kitchen making loads of delicious pumpkin puree. I sliced the pumpkins down the middle, our little girl scooped out the insides, and my wife buttered the flesh of the pumpkins. In the matter of just minutes, we had several pumpkins roasting away in the oven, making our home smell amazing! I’ll break it down for you below, but don’t be intimidated by the process of making your own pumpkin puree – it’s ridiculously simple.
Making our own pumpkin puree served two purposes: it reduces our exposure to BPA (which is found in the lining of cans) and preserves more of the nutrients found in this delicious fall squash. And since we grew our own pumpkins, it also saved some money too. So instead of buying pumpkin puree this winter, we made our own.
To preserve it for later use, you can spoon out a desired amount, place it in a quart freezer bag/container and label it. I recommend doing 1-2 cups, an amount you would likely use in a recipe. Then freeze. Be sure to allow them to freeze flat (I laid them on a baking sheet until they were frozen). This way, they will stack more easily in your freezer.
With the puree of just one pie pumpkin, we had enough pumpkin puree for three different purposes.
Slow Cooker Method: Brown meat in a pan until cooked through. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3.
Stove Top Method: In a large skillet, sauté the onion and yellow pepper in the coconut oil for about 2 minutes or until tender. Add beef and cook until brown, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook on low for 20 minutes to allow flavors to come together.
Serve with slices of avocado, sour cream, chives, or other toppings of choice.