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How to Clean a Pumpkin

How to Clean a Pumpkin

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Pumpkin season, better known as Fall, is just around the corner, and we can’t stop thinking about all of the things we can make with pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, stuffed pumpkin, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pancakes — there are enough possibilities to add pumpkin to every meal.

For someone who doesn’t often cook with pumpkin, the idea of having to clean one for the first time can seem challenging. Cutting it open and scooping out its seedy, stringy insides doesn’t seem all that appealing at first. But don’t let that deter you from making delicious home-made pumpkin dishes, because cleaning a pumpkin is actually very easy, and we’ll show you how.

Click here to see How to Clean a Pumpkin (Slideshow).

We’ll help you by walking you step by step through the process and you’ll see that the product — the sweet taste of pumpkin from one of your favorite recipes — is worth the effort.

To encourage you to make all of those pumpkin recipes you’ve been eager to try, here’s a five-step guide on how to clean a pumpkin. We’ll walk you through everything from washing and cutting a pumpkin, to scooping out its seeds and flesh. So put those Halloween pumpkin carving tools down and get ready to cook with some pumpkin.

Wash and Inspect

Just like any fruit or vegetable, you must wash your pumpkin (only water is necessary) to remove any dirt that may be lingering from the pumpkin patch. In case your pumpkin got banged around somewhere along its journey to your kitchen, you should check for any soft, squishy, or rotten spots. If you find them, cut them off.

Cut It Open

Now you’re ready to slice open your pumpkin. Roll it over on its side and look to see if your pumpkin has grooves running from the stem to the bottom. If it does, then great, you can use those to guide you when you cut. If not, set some imaginary lines to follow as cutting guidelines. Take a knife and cut along a groove or your imaginary line so that it slices through the bottom. Now turn the pumpkin around, and find the start of the cut you just made. From there, dig your knife in again and cut up to the stem. You don’t need to worry about cutting the stem off because you’re getting rid of it in the next step, anyways. Now that one side is sliced, roll the pumpkin over and find the split where you cut through the bottom. Stick your knife back in and cut up to the stem. You’re almost there — you just need to open your pumpkin. From the cut at the bottom, use your fingers to pull the halves apart. Keep pulling until the stem snaps in half.

Learn how to clean a pumpkin here.

Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @haleywillrd.

How To Clean Pumpkin Seeds

Simple roasted pumpkin seeds are a healthy seasonal snack.

A trip to the pumpkin patch is one of our favorite fall traditions, and you can bet we&aposre coming home with the perfect pumpkin to carve up. We love decorating our porches with grinning, glowing jack-o&apos-lanterns and marveling at our neighbors&apos displays. Our approach to pumpkin carving is seasonally-inspired: While there&aposs certainly a place for ghoulish grins and spooky smiles, our favorite pumpkins take a cue form the season, with elegant leaf carvings that will stun all fall long. The more unique, the better: We love pumpkins that are personalized and tailored to your family, from monogrammed initials to house number topiaries.

Just as we love seasonally-inspired pumpkin designs, we also can&apost resist unique fall treats. When the weather starts to cool down, we&aposre cranking our ovens up and baking lots of favorite fall recipes, from sweet-and-salty caramel desserts to pumpkin-spiced snacks. But in a season full of decadent cakes and pies, one of our favorite recipes is full of seasonal flavor, and it&aposs healthy to boot: roasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, not only taste great, but they&aposre also packed full of nutritious benefits. They&aposre a lovely, crunchy addition to homemade granola, seasonal bakes, and hearty salads—or they can be enjoyed all on their own. This snack is great to take on-the-go or pack in the kids&apos lunchboxes. So when you&aposre carving up your Halloween pumpkin, don&apost forget to save the seeds to roast as a healthy seasonal snack. But the process of breaking down a pumpkin can be overwhelming and messy. Not to worry: we&aposve got all the tips on how to make the most of every part of the pumpkin.

You can, but why would you? It will make the flesh of the pumpkin absorb even more water, it’s messier and you’ll have to drain the pumpkin after it’s cooked. I mean draining it in a sieve for a long time to let the water drain out? Not worth it in my opinion.

Again, yes, you can steam a pumpkin, but you’ll end up with a similar situation to boiling it. Follow the super easy directions below to bake it in the oven, and you’ll be much more pleased with the results, I promise.

Sometimes the skin separates from the pumpkin on its own! So easy!

How Do I Use Home Canned Pumpkin?

Any way you&rsquod like! I use it in muffins, pumpkin bread, and Grandma Dorothy&rsquos Pumpkin Cookie Recipe. In a pinch, you could use it in place of butternut squash in Spicy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup.

For another savory option, try Baked Pumpkin Risotto.

If you would like to puree it for pumpkin butter, pie, or other baked goods, drain the liquid and puree. For ease, I just stick my immersion blender directly into the canning jar.

My preference is to can in pint-sized jars. The processing time is less and once drained, a pint jar is about equivalent to a 15 oz can you&rsquod buy in the store.

29 Healthy and Delicious Paleo / Clean Pumpkin Desserts

Fall is all about pumpkin everything! If you love pumpkin but don’t want to fall off the healthy eating wagon, you don’t have to! Here are 29 healthy pumpkin desserts and treats! The perfect way to indulge while keeping a healthy lifestyle. All recipes are clean or paleo! Get ready to indulge!

Bring on The Pumpkins, Y’all

I know pumpkin season is in full effect for most of you, but let me tell you – with my first fall in Tennessee? I know what the calendar says, but it doesn’t feel like fall. We are still posting temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s.

I wasn’t about to be deterred, though. On Saturday, we rallied the tiny people and went to the pumpkin patch. We found a great farm to visit, but oh my goodness, it was hot! Full-on sweat down the back, desperately searching for any bit of shade to sit in.

My boys are only 3, and they were more interested in the duck water slide than anything fall or pumpkin. We did manage to get them into the corn maze, but after about 15 minutes, we were being cooked alive along with the corn, so we cut through the stalks to make an exit of our own.

We never did make it to the pumpkin patch, so an Aldi pumpkin will have to do for this year (cheaper, too!). But I’m all about making it smell like fall in the house, even if the air conditioning is still on full blast. So, bring on the pumpkin recipes, right.

Delicious and Healthy Pumpkin Recipes? Yes, Please!

Full disclosure, I went back and forth about today’s roundup. There were so many amazing recipes for pumpkin desserts, but not all of them could be considered “healthy.” While I’m not opposed to a cheat day whatsoever, my whole eating philosophy is that I truly believe there are healthy alternatives to all of the food and desserts we love. I kind of felt like I’d be selling out if my roundup focused on the indulgent recipes and not the healthier versions. I mean, how much better is it for us if we can just make healthier alternatives to the sweets we love?

Well, let me tell you, there was NO SHORTAGE of healthy pumpkin dessert recipes – I had to cut myself off at 27! These desserts look amazing, and I’m sure you will not even miss the unhealthy stuff they’re leaving out. When you look through these pictures, it’s hard to believe they are actually healthy!

All the recipes today are either clean or paleo. I guarantee, you will feel like you’re cheating, but you’re not! So, my friends – have at it! Enjoy these treats, guilt-free!

(If you really want those other pumpkin dessert recipes, no judgment here! You can check out the All Things Fall Pinterest Board . I’ve pinned a bunch of them there!)

How To Clean Mushrooms in Water

It is important to remember that the reason some cooks are so anti-water in mushroom cleaning is that mushrooms are little sponges, so it is easy for them to absorb water, which will affect them in cooking. So, when using water to wash them, you don&apost want to let them soak for long. Fill a large bowl with cold water, and have a clean, lint-free towel nearby. Add a few mushrooms to the water at a time, about as many as you can easily handle in your cupped hands, and swirl them around in the water to loosen any dirt — this should take maybe ten seconds, at the most. Then immediately remove them to the towel, patting them as dry as you can and laying them out (caps up) to finish air-drying before washing the next batch. Once they have all been washed in this way, examine the mushrooms to ensure you do not see any visible dirt. If you spot some stubborn bits, use a damp paper towel to wipe them off.

Cut the Pumpkin in Half

You'll need a large knife and a certain amount of upper-body strength. Cut the pumpkin more or less in half working on one side of any stem that's still attached to the pumpkin.

As long as you can safely control it, the bigger the knife, the easier it is to crack the pumpkin apart.

How to Cook a Pumpkin

Baking Pumpkin

Baking a pumpkin is as simple as cleaning it, cutting it into chunks, and sticking it in the oven.

  1. Heat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Scrub the outside of the pumpkin with a vegetable brush to remove any visible dirt.
  3. Cut off the stem, then cut the pumpkin in half (from top to bottom). Use a spoon to scrape out any fibers and seeds out of each half. A serrated grapefruit spoon or an ice cream scoop work great for this. Clean and save the seeds for roasting, if you like.
  4. Cut the pumpkin halves into smaller chunks, then place the pieces skin-side up in a shallow baking dish with a lid.
  5. Add water to just cover the bottom of the dish, and cover tightly.
  6. Bake in oven for about 1 hour or until the pumpkin is fork tender. The time could be more or less depending on the size of your pieces, so keep an eye on them. If in doubt, cook longer you won’t hurt the pumpkin.
  7. Let it cool for 10 minutes, and then either cut off the peel or scoop out the flesh.

Roasting Pumpkin

It’s even easier to roast the pumpkin at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time, which brings out that caramelized taste. Here’s how:

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Scrub the outside of the pumpkin with a vegetable brush to remove any visible dirt.
  3. Cut off the stem, then cut the pumpkin in half (from top to bottom). Use a spoon to scrape out any fibers and seeds out of each half. A serrated grapefruit spoon or an ice cream scoop work great for this. Clean and save the seeds for roasting, if you like.
  4. Place the pumpkin cut-side down on a baking sheet lined in parchment paper.
  5. Bake 35 to 50 minutes until the pumpkin is soft and nearly collapsing.
  6. Let it cool for 10 minutes, and then either cut off the peel or scoop out the flesh.

Making Fresh Pumpkin Purée

This step takes 5 minutes: Simply purée the cooked pumpkin chunks in a food processor until smooth! That’s it! Use your purée within a few days. Or freeze it in giant freezer bags for later use.

(Note: If your purée is too dry, add water. If it’s too watery, strain it through cheesecloth or over a fine mesh strainer.)

There’s certainly no harm in using canned pumpkin the main difference is texture. Homemade purée is lighter in texture, fresher, and more vegetal. Canned pumpkin taste will taste predominantly of the spices added. We enjoy using homemade purée as a base for soups, in pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin dip, and more.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t let those pumpkin seeds go to waste! They make a tasty snack when seasoned and roasted. Check out our roasted pumpkin seed recipe here.

More Pumpkin Recipes to Try

Not sure what to do with all that pumpkin? See our favorite pumpkin recipes!

45 Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Recipes to Make This Fall

Think beyond the pie &mdash you can get really creative with pumpkin.

Sure, you can carve a pumpkin, and even go crazy making spooky Halloween crafts with pumpkins &mdash but our favorite way to enjoy fall&rsquos best fruit (you knew that pumpkin is a fruit, right?) is to cook it up into these delicious and easy sweet and savory pumpkin recipes. We&rsquove got the best roast pumpkin recipes, canned pumpkin recipes (like the best pumpkin pie recipe, pumpkin mousse, and pumpkin cheesecake), as well as fresh pumpkin recipes (you do not want to miss the pumpkin focaccia or pumpkin chili!), pumpkin pastas, and more.

Need a vegetarian pumpkin dish for Meatless Mondays this fall? How about double-pumpkin cornbread dipped into creamy pumpkin soup? Or maybe you&rsquore craving a sweet and spicy autumn treat&mdash we are, too. Try cream-cheese frosted pumpkin cupcakes and cakes, chewy pumpkin cookies, fluffy pumpkin pancakes, or easy, breakfast-worthy pumpkin bread. There are so many easy pumpkin recipes with few ingredients, you can enjoy the fall produce superstar for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

How to Cook a Pumpkin

Here’s how to clean and cook pumpkins two different ways. Plus, if you’re cooking your own pumpkins, it’s just one more step to make homemade pumpkin purée! Enjoy the fall flavor and healthy goodness of fresh pumpkin!

Picking the Right Pumpkin

Before you get to cooking, it’s important to pick the right pumpkin for the job.

  1. The most popular cooking pumpkin is the “sugar pumpkin” or “pie pumpkin,” which you’ll see in the grocery store in the fall. The are rounder and smaller than regular carving pumpkins. The flesh is sweeter and less stringy than a decorative carving pumpkin, too.
  2. Another pumpkin that’s great for cooking is the Japanese Kabocha pumpkin, which has a bright orange color. It is sweeter and more flavorful than the sugar pumpkin and has a fluffy texture.

Note that all pumpkins are edible! The Jack-O’-lantern pumpkins tend to be stringer, less sweet, and have a higher moisture content than the smaller sugar (pie) pumpkin, but they can still be cooked and eaten.

Storing Pumpkins

To store pumpkins that you’re not going to cook right away, keep them cool but not quite as cool as root crops. If you have a coolish bedroom, stashing them under the bed works well (just don’t forget about them). A mudroom, garage, or cool basement will also work. They keep best at a temperature of about 50° to 65ºF (10° to 18°C).

Watch the video: Wir Schnitzen einen Kürbis (August 2022).