When selecting a pumpkin for cooking, the best selection is a “pie pumpkin” or “sweet pumpkin.” For each following cooking method, cut a pumpkin into four pieces and set in pans with rind side on the bottom. Remove seeds and stringy portions.
Pumpkin Cooking Pointers
Boiling – Rinse in cold water. Boil prepared pumpkin in a covered pan with a small amount of water until tender, about 25-30 minutes. After cooking, peel, drain, and puree.
Steamed – Place prepared pumpkin on a wire rack or metal colander over boiling water in a covered container. Steam until tender, about 40 – 50 minutes. Remove from steam, peel and puree as directed.
Baked – Cut pumpkin in half, scraping away stringy mass and seeds. Rinse under cold water. Place pumpkin cut side down on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for one hour or until fork tender.
Microwave – Cut pumpkin in half, place cut side down on a microwave safe plate or tray. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, check for doneness. If necessary continue cooking at 1-2 minute intervals until fork tender. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, remove the peel using a small sharp knife and your fingers.
Puree – Fresh pumpkin pure can be used in all recipes calling for canned pumpkin. Put the peeled pumpkin in a food processor and puree or use a food mill, ricer, strainer or potato masher to form a puree.
Use the puree to make a guiltless pumpkin pie. No crust and fat-free milk saves calories. One slice is 120 calories. Recipe adapted from Iowa State University Extension’s SpendsmartEatsmart blog.
Guiltless Pumpkin Pie
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or ¾ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 15 oz. fresh pureed or can pumpkin
- 1 5-ounce can fat free evaporated milk
- Optional: Low fat whipped topping and ground cinnamon.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.
- Place eggs in large bowl, beat with a fork or whisk. Add sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir until well mixed.
- Stir in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Pour into prepared pie plate.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes – or until center is set.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. If desired, add a spoonful of low-fat whipped topping to each serving and sprinkle with additional ground cinnamon.