Seriously, I’ve been dying to get my hands on some pumpkin.

Everyone seems to be talking about pumpkin overnight oats, which just about makes me shiver with glee.  I mean, I love pumpkin… or at least, I love pumpkin pie.  Hmm, maybe that’s not quite the same thing.

I’ve tried for two weeks in a row now to get my hands on some canned pumpkin at the grocery store.  No luck.  I swear.  I’ve searched the entire store from top to bottom.  I can find pumpkin pie filling (you know, it’s got loads of goop already in it and is sky high in calories I certainly don’t need) but not actual pumpkin.  I know they make it, I’ve bought it before!  It’s simply nowhere.

As I walked through the produce aisle this week I saw some baking pumpkins.  They’re so small and adorable that I couldn’t help but pick one up… and doing so jogged a memory of reading a blog post somewhere (the danger of reading so many blogs) about making your own pumpkin puree.  And this is how I walked out of the store with a $0.99 baking pumpkin.

It turns out, making your own puree is just as easy as it sounds.  You bake the thing, take the baked pieces and put them through your food processor.  (There was a lot of babble about taking out excess water from the pumpkin and I worried about this as it’s totally the type of step I usually omit because it’s tedious work… Some may want to do so if they’re using it for pies or something but for my purposes, it wasn’t ridiculously watery or anything.)

You know how some people can effortlessly cut open a huge object like a pumpkin or spaghetti squash without it being a huge production?  I am not one of those people.  I think those people have better knives than I do.

Scraping out the innards…. not as fun as I remember it being when carving pumpkins as a child… though the goo is just as slimy and squishy as I remember.

See how little this cutie is?  Seriously.  Soo cute.  Into the oven at 350 for an hour.

I didn’t even check on them at all.  I just baked them for the entire hour and then took them out when the timer went off.  They’d turned this gorgeous deep orange color and I had to taste a bit of baked pumpkin as I couldn’t remember if I’d ever had it before… and it turns out… I genuinely enjoy pumpkin; just plain pumpkin, nothing on it, no sugar or spices… it’s good stuff!

After the pumpkin cools enough (naturally I refused to wait) you peel the skin off, using a knife to aid the process (I now have burnt fingertips  because of my impatience).  Then you chunk it up and put it through a food processor.

And then you have pumpkin.  It’s not as dense as in the can (mostly due to the water issue) and apparently the water issue isn’t hard to resolve.  Simply place some coffee filters in the bottom of a strainer, put the strainer in a bowl, put the pumpkin in the strainer and leave in the fridge overnight.  As I’m not making pie, I’m skipping this step.

First thing I did?  I made up some pumpkin overnight oats complete with pumpkin pie spice, extra cinnamon and a tiny bit of maple syrup.  I’m pretty sure it’s going to be epic.

I also decided to roast the pumpkin seeds, fishing them out of the goop is… interesting.  I’d never done it before.  I felt like a kid playing in slime.  🙂

All in all I got 5 cups of puree from one tiny pumpkin for $0.99.  If I like the pumpkin overnight oats, I may buy quite a few more, do them up and freeze them…. no more searching for canned pumpkin.