Save the seeds and rinse under cool water. You might have to rub them in your hands to get off all stringy membrane. Pat them dry and place the seeds on a cookie sheet. Now you have the option to roast them for a fun fall snack or dry them for planting next year. I chose to save them for planting. I’ve read that the seeds need to air dry for three weeks before saving them to plant to ensure that all the moister in gone. I still need to do some more reading on the best way to save seeds.
Last week I had the pleasure of going to Whole Foods when my friend and I went up to the States to pick one of our other friends from the airport. I feel like a kid in a candy store every time I’m there. I don’t buy a lot of things at Whole Foods but I do get some of my meat, that I can’t find anywhere else. Really for grass fed beef their prices are almost the same as Trader Joe’s organic beef which isn’t grass fed. Plus right now they have cultured pastured organic butter for a limited time. I stocked up to save it for a good portion of the rest of the year. I just make my meat and butter last for as long as I can, supplementing with legumes and grains that I buy in bulk from Azure Standard, locally grown veggies and eggs from my chickens.
Anyway… to my delight Whole Foods had these gorgeous squash since I didn’t grow any this year! The green and yellow one is a heirloom pumpkin (I can’t remember it’s name) and the other is an orange kabocha squash. The kabocha ended up being a way better deal than the pumpkin. Not only was it less than half the price, it also weighed a little more, was denser and made twice the amount of puree than the pumpkin did. My pumpkin’s puree was thin, while the kabocha’s puree was very thick. I’m drying the seeds from both to plant next year so that I don’t spend too much on a pumpkin again which by the way I found that same heirloom pumpkin at a farm down the road for less than two dollars where as I spent over nine for the one from Whole Foods. There are reasons I don’t do most of my shopping there, that and the fact that it is almost a three hour drive to the closest one…
Like I said I made puree from both and would like to show you today how you can do it too. Hopefully I learned the lesson for you and you will just use a kabocha and forget about the pumpkin. Either that or find a better, cheeper pumpkin. Let me know if you do. We live and learn. From now on I’m growing my own.
Kabocha or Pumpkin Puree
My squash were both about 5 pounds. So keep that in mind when you are making your own puree.
Cut your squash in half.
The Heirloom Pumpkin
The Orange Kabocha
Notice much dense and meaty the kabocha is?!
Use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds.
Heirloom Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut your squash into at least eight pieces and place face down on a cookie sheet, add a little water to the sheet so that the squash doesn’t stick. If you want part way through the baking time you can flip them over. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes or until the squash is soft.
Once the squash is soft remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Scrape the now soft squash into a blender or food processor. If necessary add a little water, less than a 1/4 of a cup at a time. This shouldn’t be necessary if your squash is cooked throughly. Blend until smooth.
Heirloom Pumpkin Puree
Orange Kabocha Puree
The heirloom pumpkin made four cups of puree. The orange kabocha made 8 1/2 cups of puree. Now you can see why I prefer the kabocha.
There are so many ways to use pumpkin/kabocha purees, think pumpkin pie, scones, lattes, cake… the list can go on. How do you like to use pumpkin/kabocha purees?