Pumpkin Puree, Pumpkin Bread

pumpkins.jpgToday, Michelle Stern of What’s Cooking shares a how-to on using fresh pumpkin to make your own pumpkin puree, a fabulous recipe for chocolate chunk pumpkin bread, and tips for engaging your kids to help out in the kitchen.
From Michelle:

With all of the talk about eating local these days, I thought some of you might be curious about how to turn your locally grown pumpkins into something edible. It's a snap, especially if you have already hacked one open to roast the seeds anyway. For optimal flavor, use sugar pie pumpkins (they are round and small); alternatively, you could use a regular pumpkin and add brown sugar to taste.

How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out the top of your pumpkin and clean out all seeds and strings from inside. Reserve seeds.

2. Slice pumpkin vertically into 3 inch wide strips. Place strips onto a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, until pumpkin is soft.

3. Once done, scrape the pumpkin from the skins, then beat with a mixer or puree in a food processor until smooth.

Save The Seeds

The seeds can be used either to plant pumpkins next year, or roasted to eat this year! Place them in a bowl of water and rub them between your hands to remove orange bits. Pick out the orange pieces that are floating, and discard them. Drain the water and spread the seeds on a dish towel or paper towel to dry…and voila! They are ready for next year’s planting or to roast.

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread

Once you have your puree made, try this amazing recipe. It’s scary how fast it will disappear! Also, you can make muffins out of the batter if you want them to cook faster or if you like smaller portions. Just adjust the baking time accordingly (start checking around 15 minutes).


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed cooked fresh pumpkin
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well blended. Set aside.

    2. Beat eggs, pumpkin, sugars, milk, and oil in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Stir in chopped chocolate.

    3. Pour mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

    4. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Cut into slices to serve.


  • Measure cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  • Crack eggs (in a separate bowl, so it is easier to fish out stray egg shells).
  • Measure sugar, brown sugar, milk, and oil.
  • With adult supervision, use a hand mixer to blend eggs, pumpkin, sugars, milk, and oil.
  • Fold wet and dry ingredients together until combined.

    Nutrition: Yield: 15 servings. Per serving: 253.6 calories; 28% calories from fat; 8.6g total fat; 35.5mg cholesterol; 239.9mg sodium; 141.7mg potassium; 41.8g carbohydrates; 0.8g fiber; 20.8g sugar; 41.0g net carbs; 4.4g protein.

    Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net