DIY: Pumpkin Puree


It’s that time of year when pumpkins are abundant and pumpkin treats are on my mind. This year I’m doing things differently as I am making my own pumpkin puree! Since the only ingredient listed on most cans of pumpkin puree is pumpkin, I figured it must be pretty easy to replicate what you find on the shelves of the grocery store.

Making your own pumpkin puree is really easy. I used a pie pumpkin as they are smaller and according to my friend Erin, have more flavor than the larger pumpkins you might carve. Here is the little pie pumpkin I found at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market over the weekend. This locally grown pumpkin cost $1.50 which I believe is very similar in price to a can of Libby’s.

How To:
Wash and dry pumpkin
Slice into smaller pieces – I quartered mine
Scoop out seeds
Place in pan with shallow water
Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until pumpkin is tender (about 40 minutes for this pumpkin)
Scoop out pumpkin and put in food processor to puree
*This little pumpkin made 3 cups of puree!

I also have been trying to follow rule #45 from Michael Pollan, “eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself.” I know, you’re probably thinking “is pumpkin really junk food?” The answer to that, of course, is no! What I’m making with my pumpkin is another story however:

Today I visited my friend Sarah for her birthday and we celebrated with pumpkin bars! One of my personal food rules is “special foods on special occasions” and today perfectly fit that definition.

What do you like to make with pumpkin? Do you puree your own or buy it canned? Maybe this is the year you mix it up by trying your hand at this easy homemade swap!

  • Erin

    I LOVE this post!!! And, a can of pumpkin here is $1.99 So, you’re saving some!;) It’s so cute & I bet delicious! I also love your food rules…ones I can totally follow! Hope you had a wonderful day with Sarah!:)

    • Johanna

      Hi E! So glad you liked my post and I was happy to see you try this a couple weeks ago!

  • Derva Burke

    Pumpkins…. delicious. Remember you can eat the seeds too.
    Find a recipe on line… Wash and clean seeds, mix with some spices and bake for about an hour on low heat. Great snack.

    My father has raised pumpkins since he quit farming in central WI. He is now 97 and still has the patch and sells at his road side stand.
    Home grown… you can’t beat it.

    • Johanna

      Hi Derva! I certainly remember your dad’s pumpkin patch from the times we visited the farm when I was a kid! I just purchased some more pie pumpkins and plan on roasting them and freezing the puree so I have some for the upcoming holidays.