1 pumpkin (as big or small as you’d like – remember that it must fit in your oven)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
To Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree*: Hack the stem off of your pumpkin, then slice the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. You’ll end up with two halves with some funky stringy stuff and some beautiful pumpkin seeds in the middle.
Scrape out the “funky stringy stuff” and seeds – use an ice cream scoop if you have it! You’ll want to remove as much of loose stringy innards as you can, while keeping the solid flesh in tact. Also, SAVE THOSE PUMPKIN SEEDS. Simply rinse them in a colander and set aside. We’ll get to them later (see below).
Rub the flat edges of the pumpkin with olive oil, then place each half face-down on a aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. The edges that touch the aluminum foil should be the ones that you oil! Oil = less burnage and stickage = a happy homemade pumpkin puree consumer.
Roast your pumpkin halves in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 20-35 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is fork-tender. My pumpkin was huge, so mine took 35 minutes. Just be sure to start checking your pumpkin around the 20 minute mark.
Remove your pumpkin halves from the oven and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon. Make sure you’re just scooping out the flesh – don’t get any of the skin in your mixture! You’ll see that the roasted pumpkin flesh almost resembles thick spaghetti squash!
Dump the roasted pumpkin flesh into your food processor and blend until smooth. Depending on the size of your pumpkin and food processor, you’ll probably need to do this in batches. You’ll also need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides a couple of times per batch to ensure your puree is smooth and creamy.
Store in a air-tight container in the fridge. Be sure to scoop some into a bowl to taste test – fresh homemade pumpkin puree is incredibly addictive when warm!
To Make Homemade Pumpkin Seeds: Roast your pumpkin seeds on a olive oil-greased aluminum foil-lined sheet pan for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, toss in a bowl with 1 tsp. olive oil and spice(s) of choice (try salt and smoked paprika!). Return to the sheet pan and bake for another 20 minutes. Voila! A simple, healthy, protein-and-fiber-packed snack!
*It is incredibly important that you have a sharp knife for this task. A sharp knife can easily cut through the tough skin and flesh of your pumpkin – a dull one will slip, increasing the probability of pumpkin-inflicted knife wounds. Not fun.