Pie pumpkin

Pumpkin Puree
(Better than canned!)

Start off with a pie pumpkin, or any type of baking pumpkin. Don't use a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin; the meat inside is pretty dry, and does not really have a good flavor. Pie pumpkins are about the size of a cantaloupe, although mine was a tad bigger. For recipe purposes, a 15 ounce can of pumpkin is about 1 3/4 cup densely packed pulp.

Wash the pumpkin off, and trim to stem as short as you can get it. Take your largest (and sharpest!) knife, and cut the pumpkin in half. I like to start close to the stem, go down one side, and back up the other side, just to be safe. The stem will be the hardest to cut through so take your time and be careful.

Once you have halved your pumpkin, scoop out the stringy "guts" (save the seeds!) Since pie pumpkins are denser, their "guts" are a little different than jack-o-lantern pumpkins. It can be harder to separate the seeds. They are kind of like little pods of fibrous guts surrounding pockets of seeds. I like to be near the sink (with a strainer in place), and the trash can or compost bin. Then I pull out handfuls of guts, squeeze the seeds into the strainer, and toss the remains in the trash or compost. Once you've done this, use a spoon and a paring knife if needed to clean up the inside of the pumpkin.

Melt some butter (a tablespoon or two) and brush butter along the cut side of pumpkin halves, and inside. Put cut side down onto a baking sheet that has been prepped with either foil, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat (I prefer silicone--less waste).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, depending on the size of your pumpkin. Basically until your pumpkin is completely soft. Not baked potato soft, think baked apple soft. Let cool, then peel the skin off and pop off the stem. 

Once you have the pumpkin flesh separated, either food process, blend, or use your stand up mixer to puree it. You can also add the pan drippings to get to the desired consistency. You just made pumpkin puree! You can refrigerate for a few days (I wouldn't go more than 3-5), can it, freeze it, or use it right now to make pumpkin loaf!

Pumpkin Loaf

1 3/4 cups densely packed pumpkin puree, or a 15oz can
1/2 cup coconut oil, or whatever you prefer
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups unrefined cane sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Up to 1 cup additions: walnut pieces, dark chocolate chips, raisins, etc

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil up the pans*, then instead of flouring them, cinnamon-sugar them. 

Blend together pumpkin, oil, apple sauce, eggs and sugar until creamy and smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and spices. Add all at once to wet mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in walnut pieces.

Divide into pans evenly. For 3-7x3 pans, bake for about 50 minutes (or until tester comes out clean). I bake a 9x5 for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Be sure to start checking at 45 minutes for loaves, regardless. Remove from pan and onto a cooling rack. 

Store at room temperature wrapped in foil. Also freezes well; let cool, wrap in foil, and put in a dated freezer bag.

*Recipe works in 3-7x3s, or 2-9x5s. You can also use muffins tins, but I'm not sure on quantity and baking time.


Pumpkin Seeds

One bowling ball sized pumpkin's seeds
2 T melted butter
1 T garlic salt
1 t onion salt
1/4-1/2 t paprika (to taste)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

After separating your seeds from the pulp, rinse under warm water. Pick out any remaining pulp. Shake off excess water, place on a towel, and roll up. Let dry for a couple hours, in a warm location. You can also spread out and let dry overnight.

In a bowl mix together pumpkin seeds with a couple tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle on the salt and spice. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring part way through, until golden and crisp. Let cool and store in an airtight container (but they taste amazing warm, too).


  1. Wow you are on a pretty sweet pumpkin streak, huh?! the bread looks sooooo amazing.

  2. I had to use my pie pumpkin to it's fullest extent! I need to go pick another one! :)