After yesterday’s pumpkin patch outing and experimenting with a new method of preparing pumpkins for homemade puree, I knew I would have to blog about it because the savings and benefits are quite vast!
For starters, I ended up getting three medium-sized pumpkins from the pumpkin patch for an additional $2. It turned out that the group rate included a free pumpkin for each of the boys. Yippee! 🙂 Instead of making dreaded Halloween jack-o-lanterns with those precious gourds, I instructed E to pick the nicest ones he could find so we could make breads, pies and cookies out of them.
E got a kick out of actually picking the pumpkins right off the vines then helping me prepare them once we got home. We even had enough time to use two cups of the fresh puree to make two loaves of pumpkin bread for breakfast the next morning.
While at the store today picking up a few needed items for the week, I picked up two more pie pumpkins for a total of $2.98. In the end, I paid a total of $4.98 for 5 pumpkins and made 24 cups of puree equal to 12 cans of pumpkin at the store. Based on the average cost of $1.79/can that is the equivalent of $21.48 w/o tax. So I not only ended up getting my 12 cans worth of pumpkin to use in baking, but I also saved $16.50!
Here’s how you too can accomplish this feat….
Lay out your needed tools.
Cut your pumpkins in half.
Use a heavy spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds and strings from the insides of the pumpkin halves.
Place skin-side down on a cookie sheet and fill the pan half way with water.
Cover with foil to keep tops from burning. Place inside a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake for approximately one hour (longer if needed). You know they are done when it is the texture of a baked potato when poking with a fork.
Remove tray from oven and let pumpkins cool for a few minutes before using a spoon to scrape out the insides.
Place the pumpkin pulp inside a blender and add a little water. Blend until smooth.
Pour the blended mixture into a large bowl until all of the pumpkin batches have been pureed. Use a measuring cup (preferably 1 C. for size) and pour into freezer zipper bags in either 1 or 2-cup quantities.
The finished result! (5 medium pumpkins = 24 cups puree) *2 C. not shown since I used it to bake two loaves of bread. 🙂
When getting ready to put inside the freezer, place the bags on a small cookie sheet so they will freeze flat without falling through the gaps in the freezer shelves. This will make them easier to store inside the freezer once frozen since they will stand up like file folders.