Prior to moving to Australia, I had never cooked a real pumpkin. Butternut pumpkin, yes, but in the U.S. that's called a squash! In the States canned pumpkin abounds year-round, so I never bothered. Here you've got to work a bit harder to enjoy this nutritional star, but it's highly versatile, freezers really well, and is particularly nice in winter for hot soups, porridge, muffins, or as a side dish.
Though a pumpkin-cooking novice still, here are a few tips I've learned:
Cutting a raw pumpkin is hard, unless you own a speciality knife. I highly recommend microwaving it for about 15 minutes first. This will also help it peel a lot easier.
Kent pumpkin skin does not puree well. Though I usually try not to peel any fruits or vegetables, I do recommend peeling Kent pumpkins.
If your puree is too watery, try roasting it longer to remove more water.
The puree tasted best when I only roasted it, rather than microwaving first. However, it was so much harder to cut and peel, I recommend the microwave despite the altered taste. Once you add it to a recipe you likely won't notice the difference.
Not ready to try a whole pumpkin? You can usually buy them already halved, or even easier, already chopped!
I hope the video below builds your confidence that you too can buy a pumpkin and actually use it!
Ready to use your pumpkin?
Below is our very own pumpkin porridge recipe!