Every year, like so many other households, I like to purchase the biggest pumpkin that I can find to signal to trick-or-treaters that we are giving out candy. If the pumpkins are really cheap, like a few dollars cheap, I like to purchase 2! I don’t carve the pumpkins or decorate them, but sit them on my porch since they are a decoration piece in itself.
Once Halloween is over, I love to cut them open and roast the seeds as a healthy snack. You may not have already known this, but you can actually roast the meat of a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin as well! These pumpkins have been cultivated to grow larger, and therefore have a larger water content than pie pumpkins, however they are still full of nutrients even if the pumpkin flavour is more subtle.
Of-course being the eco-warrior that I am, I never let a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin go to waste! Because they are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E and iron, to name a few, they are perfectly fine to eat in sweet or savoury recipes.
I like to roast the flesh, puree it in my Vitamix and freeze it so that I always have roasted puree on hand! I use the puree in various recipes, such as the below:
-Pumpkin spiced granola
-Pumpkin spiced oatmeal
-Added to smoothies for a punch of nutrition
And so much more!
Follow the directions below on how you can roast your own Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin and enjoy it long after Halloween is over. Also check out my video tutorial to see how easy it is.
Now set forth and be savvy!
- 1 Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin
- 3 Baking Dishes
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out all of the seeds – reserve for roasting and snacking
- Cut each half into smaller segments to allow the pieces to fit into the roasting pans
- Coat the bottom of 2 (or 3, depending on the size of your pumpkin) roasting pans with oil
- Drizzle some oil onto the flesh of each pumpkin segment and rub generously
- Place each pumpkin segment flesh side down (skin side up) onto the roasting pan
- Feel free to season with salt and pepper – however, since I like to use the roasted pumpkin for both sweet and savoury recipes, I leave out the salt and pepper
- Roast in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes, rotating at the halfway mark; you may also want to put a baking sheet on the lowest rack in case there is spillage from the pumpkins when roasting
- Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool down enough so you can handle it, overnight if you can (I just leave it in the oven over night and deal with it in the morning)
- Carefully scoop out the flesh from the skins with a spoon and add to a blender or food processor – blend/process until smooth, about 30 seconds; discard the pumpkin skins
- Note that there could be liquid at the bottom of the roasting pans from the pumpkins– you can keep this liquid and add it to soups or stews as a broth or add it to smoothies
- Store in the freezer for up to 3 months
- I was able to get about 14 cups of pureed pumpkin! Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for 6 months.
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