Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pumpkin Economy


We are crazy for all things pumpkin-y at this time of year! Are you? Have you recently purchased any canned pumpkin? Did you suffer 'sticker shock'?

When I went to my pantry just before our Dreamer's birthday, I was dismayed to find no tins of pumpkin. I remembered then that I had used my last making my Mum's Pumpkin Crunch Muffins. A quick check of the food ads revealed no great specials on pumpkin - so I bit the bullet and bought a tin full price - Libby's large 24 ounce - for $2.89!!!!! For pumpkin?

The next weekend we were at the fruit farm and those sweet little sugar or pie pumpkins were $1 each. Today I finally got around to processing them to freeze. It took me about 1/2 hour to wash, cut, scoop and arrange them skins up on my largest roasting pan. I added two cups of water and covered them tightly with foil. After baking them at 300F for two hours they were soft and ready to scrape from the skins and puree. This took about another 1/2 hour.

Here's my summary for your consideration:

3 pie pumpkins - $3

2 hours of electricity for the oven at 300F

1 hour of my time

Yield: 16 full cups of pure pumpkin puree for our freezer!!!!

Bonus - 2 pints of plump pumpkin seeds for either saving or roasting! We roasted ours with olive oil and sea salt and they are quite yummy - and pretty good for you, as far as snack foods go!


Worth it? I'd say so!

Remember that because pumpkin is such a low acid food, it is not considered a good candidate for home canning, but it does freeze well. Only use the true sugar pie pumpkins - Jack-O-Lantern style pumpkins make for tasteless and watery baked goods, in my experience. If, when you thaw your first container of pumpkin, you find it is watery and not thick enough for your liking, just strain the water that floats to the top when you thaw subsequent containers!

I've been sort of lazy just buying the canned pumpkin lately, but I think I'll go back to making our own puree when I am able. I know I'll likely buy the cans again when I see them on sale - of course, simply because I have to budget my energy carefully.

Fresh pureed pumpkin certainly tastes much nicer than canned and it is bright and wholesome - something I feel good about feeding our family!


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11 comments:

  1. I'm discovering a lot of great blogs lately and yours is no exeption. Thanks for the great tips on preserving pumpkins!

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  2. Yummy pumpkin honey.

    You know its fall and pumpkin time when Tim's brings out their pumpkin muffins and donuts.

    Yummy in my tummy.

    Heffalump

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  3. Thanks Meg - I'm glad you stopped by for a visit!

    Heffalump - DIABETICS are not supposed to know anything at all about the yummy goodness of Tim's PUMPKIN donuts .... ahem!

    The Historian brought me a hot chocolate and TWO warm pumpkin donuts on Saturday morning since I was shivering away at the soccer field watching the kids practice! Mmmmmm!

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  4. Ohhh, pumpkin recipes are soooo yummy! I tried to make a pumpkin pie with one of the regular ol' pumpkins one time, and it was very tasteless! I wondered how everyone used real pumpkins and had any luck. Thanks for sharing which pumpkins to get.

    WOW! That's great on how much pumpkin you have for the put away and how much you saved doing it that way! I'm anxious to try those little pumpkins!

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  5. Now, see~ we've become so spoiled be having ready-made, few realize how much more economical it is to do these things from scratch. Thank you for the tutorial & the encouragement- there is bounty out there for the taking.

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  6. I really want to make my own pumpkin puree this year...thank you for the reminder!
    ~Kellij

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  7. I once used a regular pumpkin too. Yeck. Those little sugar pumpkins are so yummy, thanks for the reminder (I loooove anything pumpkin!)!

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  8. heather,

    i have a break between classes and so thought i'd check out your blog and now i'm hungry!!!

    it's like reading a Christian martha stewart, and here i am with my hummus wrap and strawberry yogurt for lunch but inside i'm wanting pumpkin pie!

    hmmm, there is a tim's on campus, maybe i'll see if they have pumpkin muffins ;)

    i hope you and the kids are well. your mom stopped off a great picture of your dreamer and my sweetpea.

    ok, i've procrastinated enough and so it's now back to the fascinating world of therapeutic recreation, and medications, aging and disabilities. (my next two classes).

    under His mercy and grace,
    nancy

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  9. After being away for 3 weeks, I just saw the August 25th blog about peach tea. Can you tell me where you got the 3 gallon dispenser? Do you have the one pictured? It is beautiful! Thanks.

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  10. GrammaGrits - I bought my beverage dispenser at Meijer's and it works beautifully - it was on clearance for $25. The only thing that I have learned is that fruit bits, like raspberries get stuck in the spigot!

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  11. Hi. I have one pumpkin in the house. My husband wants me to make a pie from it. What do I do? I've never done that before. Thanks for any help. You can email me at ahappyheartathome (at) gmail (dot) com.

    ~Susan

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I so enjoy reading your comments when you kindly share your thoughts!