From Pumpkin Patch to Muffin Batch: how to pick pumpkins and turn them into goodies.

Twas the month of October and all through the land
hungry people held pumpkin recipes in hand
The grocers put all pumpkins and puree on display
meanwhile, the pumpkin patch opened up for the day...

If you're a pumpkin lover like myself, you may already have your pantry stocked with cans of pumpkin puree.  However, If by chance your pantry is not stocked, you're hankering for some pumpkin bread, and/or you like to do things the old fashioned way, read on to learn how to turn whole pumpkins into pumpkin puree. 

You probably already have plans to hit up your local patch or grocer to select a pumpkin or two for carving and seed roasting.  While you're at it, go ahead a grab some extra for all your delicious pumpkin-ee recipes. Just be sure to pick out smaller pumpkins, they're sweeter and better suited for cooking. These were labeled "pie pumpkins" at the grocery store.

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Once you get your wee-little pumpkins home, wash them and cut the stems off.

Now you can cut them in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and guts into a bowl. Save those bad-boys for roasting later.

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Preheat the oven to 350 F and place the pumpkin halves hole-side up on a baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for 45 - 60 minutes or until tender. 

Pull the pumpkins out and let them cool. Once cooled, the peel should come right off. Spoon the roasted pumpkin into a large bowl. 

Transfer a little at a time into a food processor or blender until all the pumpkin is pureed (you can also use a good old-fashioned mixer of potato masher for this).

Put the puree into individual freezer bags or jars, 1 cup at a time. Store in the freezer for later, or use it in your favorite pumpkin bread recipe right away.

Need  a yummy pumpkin bread recipe, try this one from ambitiouskitchen.com.

But don't stop with bread. Pumpkin puree can be used in so many recipes. The other night we had it in quiche for goodness sake!

You've got to love the pumpkin, not only is it delicious, incredibly versatile and awesome looking on your front porch, it's a nutrient powerhouse. Learn more about these squash super-stars and the pumpkin flavoring craze here.

Have any out of the ordinary or ridiculously tasty recipes for pumpkins? Share them in the comments below!

And as always, happy fueling :)