Pumpkin is a nutritious vegetable with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and dietary nutrients. Yellow pumpkin is one of the best sources of Vitamin A or beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
A cup of cooked pumpkin puree has significant quantities of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. The other nutrients include copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and folate. These play a vital role in strengthening eye health, immunity, and the digestive system. Pumpkin is a fruit as it’s sweeter, but we consume it as a vegetable.
Most of us prefer eating pumpkin as a dessert such as spiced up lattes, pies, pastries, and other baked goods which can diminish its nutritive value. It is best to consume pumpkin as a vegetable to get most of its nutritional benefits.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree from Scratch?
You can enjoy pumpkin by pureeing and stocking up in your freezer. Buy a whole pumpkin as it’s cheaper and ideal for storage. Uncut pumpkins last longer in the kitchen. Whenever we chop a big pumpkin, we lack ideas to use it leading to mold formation and spoilage.
Next time, when you are planning to make a pumpkin recipe, chop the entire pumpkin into pieces and make a puree to increase its shelf-life. When you have pumpkin puree on hand, you can make easy and delicious recipes for your family within 10 minutes.
Peel the skin of pumpkin and dice into cubes. You can either pressure cook the pieces for 5 whistles or roast them in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Cooldown and pulse the cooked pumpkin in a food processor. Scoop the puree into a glass jar and store it in the fridge for a week. Freeze the puree in zip-lock bags for 3 months. Thaw and use as required. Don’t refreeze the thawed mixture.
Quick and Healthy Recipes with Pumpkin Puree
We use pumpkin puree in a variety of baked pumpkin recipes. But we can cook plenty of savory dishes with pumpkin puree and even make healthy desserts without using the oven.
Pumpkin is a fiber-rich vegetable and having this in the morning will boost metabolism and bowel movements. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Waking up to a bowl of healthy and delicious pumpkin breakfasts can refresh your mood. However, you can try these recipes for dinner too.
If you are living alone and don’t find time in the mornings, just make these recipes at night and eat it for breakfast. You can cook these recipes on a Sunday, but you must make simple changes as listed in every recipe.
- Pumpkin Oatmeal
A delicious bowl of creamy golden oatmeal is a treat to your eyes. Just grab the jar of pumpkin puree from the fridge. Add 3 tbsp of puree with ½ cup of milk of your choice. Boil it and add ½ cup of steel-cut oats or rolled oats.
Once the oats thicken, transfer it to a serving bowl. Mix cinnamon powder, honey, or sugar or jaggery powder or coconut sugar or stevia and garnish with nuts and seeds. Enjoy this healthy pumpkin oatmeal to kick start a bright day. You can transfer this into a mason jar and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Eat this as an on-the-go breakfast.
- Pumpkin Lentil Curry
Who doesn’t love a piping hot bowl of spicy lentil curry in the morning? Pumpkin and lentils are a match made in heaven. Pressure cook ¼ cup red lentils with ¼ cup pumpkin puree for 3 whistles. You can do this in a slow cooker or instant pot.
Heat butter in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, 1 chopped onion and tomato, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp chili powder, and 1 tbsp salt, add the cooked dal and simmer for 5 mins. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve this with bread, rice, idly, or roti.
You can cook the lentils the previous night and temper on the day of cooking. The cooked lentil and pumpkin mixture will be good in the fridge for 3 days. I love digging in this hearty bowl of curry with no sides. It’s a filling breakfast that can keep you energetic till lunchtime.
- Pumpkin Sago Pudding
Midweek breakfasts are a concern for many because we can always manage Mondays and Fridays with leftovers and ordering in. Most of us feel the heat from work and hectic schedules during the week that can rattle our kitchen time. Prepare this pumpkin sago pudding in the night before bedtime and enjoy as a chilled breakfast in the morning.
Soak 3 tbsp of tapioca pearls or nylon sago in water for 10 mins. Boil sago with ½ cup milk in a saucepan. Add 3 tbsp of pumpkin puree and simmer for 10 mins. Dilute the mixture with water if required. Mix ½ cup powdered sugar or jaggery as per your taste. Once sago thickens, add cardamom powder and fried cashews and almonds. You can add coconut milk when you serve.
If you are planning to refrigerate, skip the coconut milk. Pumpkin sago pudding stays in the fridge for 3 days. You can even prepare this on a Sunday and enjoy in the midweek.
- Pumpkin Coconut Milk Soup
Soup is a perfect lazy morning breakfast recipe. If you have pumpkin puree on hand, you can whip up this soup in minutes. I have used coconut milk in this soup for added flavor. You can substitute it with half and half, full cream milk or fresh cream.
Heat butter in a pan. Add 1 bay leaf, 2 chopped garlic cloves, ½ chopped onion, ½ cup pumpkin puree and cook for 2 minutes. Add in ½ cup of thin coconut milk and let it simmer for 10 mins. Season with pepper and salt as per your taste. Add thick coconut milk and switch off the stove. Enjoy it hot or cold.
You can make this soup for dinner and have the refrigerated leftovers for breakfast in the morning. You can store this for a longer time if you substitute milk with cornflour paste. The taste and texture will vary.
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Pasta for breakfast? Why not? Pasta is a fun kid-friendly breakfast recipe. And you can secretly squeeze in healthy pumpkin puree in their cheesy mac to make it nutritious and wholesome breakfast. The color, texture, and taste remain the same, and that’s the beauty of pumpkin mac and cheese.
Boil macaroni pasta in water. Heat butter in a pan. Add 3 tbsp pumpkin puree, 1 cup milk, 3 tbsp veg mayonnaise, salt, mixed herbs, and pepper. Once it thickens and starts bubbling, add in boiled pasta, grated cheese, and mix well. You can add cheddar, mozzarella, or pepper jack based on your kid’s likings.
Pasta sauce can be refrigerated for 3 days. You can boil pasta and add it to the sauce when you serve. However, it is best to make this fresh as pasta can lose its flavor.
I loved all the pumpkin recipes, despite not being a fan of this vegetable. The pasta was less spicy, which was tough for my taste buds to appreciate. But kids will love this bland and cheesy pasta. Make a batch of pumpkin puree and enjoy these delicious recipes with your family next week!