We’ve been busy and have many freezer bags filled with Olathe sweet corn and a few filled with Palisade peaches. I’ve never been a canner or done much freezing before but am determined to keep some of summer’s best flavors well into fall this year.

A good friend has perfected a corn chowder recipe I’ll use right through to Christmas. And I’m looking forward to fresh peach pie at Thanksgiving. October seems like a good time to organize the fall kitchen and make sure baking supplies are in order.

I’m planning to use several new pumpkin recipes this season and so the choice is canned or fresh pumpkin puree. I always buy a few extra cans, especially when I see it offered for a good price. There are so many easy ways to use pumpkin puree.


pumpkin puree

Here is an easy way to roast and puree a whole pumpkin if you’ve never done it before. 

Pierce a whole pumpkin with a knife (so it won’t burst in the oven). Bake at 350 degrees on a foil-lined baking sheet for about 1 1/2 hours. It will slump, and the skin will brown. Peel skin off cooled pumpkin. Use a paring knife to get the peel started, but after that you’ll only need your fingers, or use a spoon to aid in pulling off the peel. Scoop out the seeds and membrane. Save the seeds, if you like them. The flesh can be used in place of canned or as directed in recipes. Store, refrigerated, for up to one week.


Five easy ways to use pumpkin puree:

1. Stir a few tablespoons of roasted pumpkin into a serving of mac and cheese to bump up the vitamin A and add rich flavor and color.

2. Blend 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon until smooth. Chill and serve with toast, bagels or muffins.

3. Spread a slice of toasted whole-grain bread with pureed pumpkin. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with Gruyere cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbling for an open-faced sandwich.

4. Roast diced peeled pumpkin on a baking sheet until tender and lightly caramelized. Toss with cooked brown rice and a sprinkle of fresh sage for a quick easy side.

5. For a simple dessert, stir pumpkin into vanilla low-fat Greek yogurt, and add pumpkin pie spice to taste. Layer in parfait glasses between layers of grated chocolate and crumbled chocolate wafer cookies.

(Source: Cooking Light)


Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.