Our pumpkin harvest came early, so this post will be about all things pumpkin. We now have nineteen pumpkins to use! Our heaviest pumpkin was 4 pounds 11 ounces, and our lightest pumpkin weighed in at less than a pound at 12 ounces. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and roasted pumpkin seeds taste great any time of year, so hold on to your pumpkin heads because today is Pumpkin Saturday!
We started by having our older boys help with scooping out seeds from pumpkin halves. They didn’t mind scooping out seeds; it was the stringy parts they didn’t like! Josh would cut the pumpkin stem off, then cut the pumpkin in half. He brought the pumpkin halves out to the dining room so that the boys could scoop out the seeds into a large bowl and the
“goop” into another bowl. This operation was so huge that we literally took up every surface in our kitchen and the dining table to do it.
After the boys scooped out the pumpkin seeds and “goop,” Josh roasted the halves in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. He roasted them as is, no olive oil or seasonings.
While the pumpkins were roasting, I did some quick Internet searches of recipes to try with the seeds and the pumpkin puree.
I kept getting distracted during this search (OH, this looks good!) and after 45 minutes, it was my turn to help with the pumpkins!
I was in charge of scooping out the roasted pumpkin from the skins and pureeing it in a food processor. We don’t have a decent blender so a food processor it was! This was more fun than scooping out pumpkin seeds, and just look at that color! My first batch made us about 8 cups of pumpkin puree.
While I was taking care of the pumpkin puree, Josh was making all sorts of flavors of roasted pumpkin seeds!
Step 1: Clean the goop off the seeds! Josh did this by combining the seeds with water, mixing them around with his hand, and then skimming the seeds off the top with a metal slotted skimmer spoon into a colander.
Step 2: I believe at this point, Josh boiled the seeds for 10 minutes in salted water. I was probably busy at this moment with my pumpkin puree, so I didn’t get a picture of it.
Step 3: Dry the cleaned and boiled seeds on a dishcloth.
Then, Josh took the semi-dried seeds (they didn’t need to be dried all the way), mixed them in a bowl with seasonings, and put them on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. He roasted them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes total with an oven check every 5 minutes or so. He wanted to make sure they were the right texture and didn’t burn.
He went a little crazy with experimenting with flavors!
These are Maple-Sriracha Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from a cookbook I own called Brown Eggs and Jam Jars. These ended up being Josh and mine’s favorite flavor!
Here are some of the other flavors Josh came up with! My kids liked the plain old salt and pepper ones the best.
It took us half the day to roast 13 of our 19 pumpkins. In the next picture, you can tell my second boy, Thias, is about done with scooping out pumpkin guts!
This bowl of puree gave us 9 quart bags of 2 cups puree each!
I was able to make 2 loaves of cream cheese-filled pumpkin bread, but I’m not too happy with how they turned out! They taste good, but I don’t think they baked long enough.
I have a favorite banana bread recipe from simplyrecipes that I might try to convert to a pumpkin bread recipe. Then, I’ll just whip up a cream cheese spread for it.
This was definitely a family activity! I don’t think it would have gone so smoothly if just Josh or just I had been roasting pumpkins. We will be reaping the benefits of our hard work for long time though so it was well worth the hard work!
And tonight, Josh is making us pumpkin pancakes for dinner!