Today was a very chilly fall day so there was no going out for a walk. We woke up to see a light bit of snow falling to the ground, not enough to stay, but enough to make me want to start hibernating. When I said that fall was my favorite season, I forgot that it led to winter. I
hate strongly dislike winter and not being able to have the windows open all day or be outside too much. How could I have forgotten this?
So after breakfast I decided instead to do an hour of yoga as my exercise for the day and then I started some fall cleaning. Fall cleaning involves going through the girls drawers and putting away all of the summer clothes and bringing up the warmer clothes. I did a lot of laundry and then got busy baking while the girls did some coloring.
I have been wanting to make my own pumpkin puree since we were given a bunch of pumpkins to use up. I have a delicious recipe that uses pumkin puree to share so I knew I needed some puree. Making your own homemade pumkin puree is really quite easy! Just make sure that the pumpkin that you are using to make puree is a pie pumpkin or sugar pumkin, not a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin, as they are tough and stringy instead of smooth.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
1. Cut the top off of the pumpkin.
2. Cut the pumpkin in half.
3. Remove the seeds and stringy ‘guts’.
4. Place the pumpkin halves face down in a baking dish along with one cup of water.
5. Bake for 90 minutes, until a knife can easily be inserted into the pumpkin. Allow to cool a while before handling.
6. Remove the cooked flesh of the pumpkin with a spoon and place it into a food processor.
7. Puree the pumpkin until smooth. Store the pumpkin puree in an airtight container or zipper bag in the fridge for up to a week.
My pumpkin made 3 cups of puree.
And now, here is my one of my favorite ways to use pumpkin puree!
Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Bread
Every fall I always feel the urge to really get my bake on. I think of baking as my therapy, helping me to get through the long winter days when it is too cold to get outside. This bread is one that I especially love to bake. The smell of the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice makes me feel perfectly content to stay inside for as long as I need to.
Makes one 9” x 5” loaf
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup canned or homemade pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add the dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sunflower oil, milk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, careful not to over-mix the batter.
- Pour the batter into a non-stick 9 x 5 loaf pan and bake 45–50 minutes. Loaf is ready when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.