How Our Ancestors Prepare a Pumpkin; Plus 26 Amazing Recipe links

How Our Ancestors would Prepare a Pumpkin; Plus 26 Amazing Recipe linksOur Ancestors knew how to Prepare a Pumpkin with very little waste.

When I think of my Grandma, I think of food. If she wasn’t shelling peas (and getting us to help), we were picking pecans off the ground. We would float in the pool to cool with watermelons…and Grandma was in the kitchen cooking or canning (which really means putting food into a sterilized glass mason jar not an aluminum can)! Food should be simple, whole, healthful, and delicious.

Pumpkins are no exception! The whole process to prepare a pumpkin is simple and provides wonderful enjoyment and recipes for days to come.

However there is a WARNING: AMAZING pumpkin recipes are included; you will want to buy pumpkins in bulk! Your house will look like a Fall Harvest Lot and your neighbors will want to come over and take pictures of their children in your pumpkin-filled home!

As we harvest organic pumpkins from our local farmers, I realize the value of this beautiful vegetable/fruit. We have a pumpkin for decor in our dining area for two months and we can still eat it (except when a child punctures holes all around it, then we prepare immediately). Pumpkins can last 3-6 months in your home.

Although pumpkins have never lasted 6 months for us, it certainly helps to sustain the plant with the stem on. Pathogens try to enter through the stem area and through the wounds of fruit (like punctured holes), so keep those stems on for protection and longevity. No refrigeration is necessary, until cooked of course.

As a child growing up in the country, I was fortunate to have Grandparents who did a little farming and knew the local farmers. My Grandmas could cook and they made everything from scratch with very little waste.  So does my Mom! Today, I wish I would have paid attention more, but I did get my fair share of helping, thankfully!

For those who want to save money, this is also a great value.

1 Medium, organic pumpkin = around $6

1 – 15oz can of Organic Canned Pumpkin = around $3

From a value stand point, we get the equivalent of 3 to 5 cans in this one pumpkin and save $5-$9.  But in a pinch, there are some good, organic pumpkin brands.

From start to finish this is how “our ancestors prepare a pumpkin”.

Prepare a pumpkin

Take your pumpkin, holding on to the stem, and cut a circle around the top at a 45° angle.

Prepare a pumpkin

Now for my secret weapon: The right tool is critical. The Grapefruit Spoon is perfectly curved and serrated.

Prepare a Pumpkin

Scratch out the seeds and place on a cookie sheet.

Prepare a pumpkin

See all that pulp! I’ve removed all I could, with the children’s help of course, and we do not have time to clean the rest. So fill the pan with water and sprinkle with salt;  set aside out of the way and let it soak and sprout a little until tomorrow.

Prepare a Pumpkin

Place the “hat” back on the pumpkin to cook for 40-45 minutes at 350°F.

Prepare a pumpkin

You do not want mush, but if the meat is not coming off easily, just pop back in the oven for another 15 minutes and repeat until ready. This one needed to cook for 1 hour. Scrape out the meat from the sides and put into a container. You can just cut the whole pumpkin in half and get all the meat right next to the skin. And don’t stress if some of the “stringy stuff” is still in there, it will only provide a little more fiber.

Now you have 3-4 cans worth of pumpkin meat! Simply store the meat in a container and place in the refrigerator.  Use within 3 weeks (help in that area below with some terrific pumpkin recipes that are waiting for you).

But don’t forget the Seeds. Remember, our smart grandparents use ALL the pumpkin.

Prepare a PumpkinIt has been a day and now we empty the seeds from the pan into a collander.Vegetable Soaking Bowl and Colander. Simply swish the seeds in a bowl with a strainer and the remaining pulp is released. Let the children place the seeds on a cookie sheet and spread evenly.

Prepare a Pumpkin

Some call these pepitas (technically for green seeds), we just call them GOOD!  I’m getting ahead, sorry.

Now sprinkle spices to your tasting; cumin, salt, chile, cayenne. The amount depends on how many seeds you get. From experience I can say the amount is more than you think, and the spices stick nicely when the seeds are wet.

Prepare a Pumpkin

Have children (with clean hands) stir well.  Also, make sure NO touching the face until hands are washed.  A little rub in the corner of your eye can turn traumatic real fast! If it happens, just get a soapy rag and gently wash the area pulling away from the eye and rinse.

Cook the seeds on the lowest setting, around 170°F for 4-6 hours.  Little hands will devour the seeds before it is finished.  I have gone to remove from the oven to find only 2 seeds remaining!

Did I mention that all my children learn to cook by age 6? The older ones help the younger children and everyone has fun preparing and eating! Preparing foods properly is the THIRD most important thing I teach them.  When you don’t have time, try these.

Congratulations!  You have prepared a pumpkin like our ancestors.

Please enjoy…and think of your grandparents with love!

As promised, here are some links to amazing pumpkin recipes  (if ingredients call for a can, use 1 and 1/3 cup homemade pumpkin): Butter!…/pumpkin-seed-coconut…/  Butter!…/simple-crock-pot-apple…/  Easy and delicious.  Catch all!

Breakfast Yum……  Use the pumpkin variation..…/ pancake in a skillet. Pass the cream! Just add butter above!

Drinks:   Superfood smoothie…/pumpkin-spice-latte.html  Mmm..Cozy…/pumpkin-pie-smoothie-with…/  Surprise inside.

Side Dish:   A beautiful whole sweet pumpkin; entertaining

Seeds & Snacks:  Tasty craft for children on a sunny day…/ Delicious, no dairy, no eggs

Breads:…/  Fantastic gluten free bread…/  For a sweet bread, great treat  Biscuits are supreme!…/pumpkin-nut-sourdough…  So good.…/pumpkin-chocolate-chip…/  For that someone special…  Muffins.

Desserts:…/  Pumpkin fudge?  Need I say more?… Breakfast or anytime!…/11/20/pumpkin-cream-cookies/  Wow! Perfect.…/pumpkin-oatmeal…  Cookies.

Now I have to go buy more pumpkin before there are no more…

How Our Ancestors would Prepare a Pumpkin; Plus 26 Amazing Recipe links

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Mandy is the force behind the advocacy portal Real Food Recovery. Since losing a 4 yr old to cancer while fostering to adopt, Mandy founded a nonprofit organization recovering children at-risk using real food, real discussion, and encouragement. As a Wife, Mom of birth, foster, and adopted children, author, Nutritional Therapist, & NRT, Mandy shares simple food tips while volunteering in a local Orphanage to create a model for change. Connect with Mandy through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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5 thoughts on “How Our Ancestors Prepare a Pumpkin; Plus 26 Amazing Recipe links

  1. […] Here is a great post from Fostering Nutrition on how our ancestors used to prepare a pumpkin includi… […]

  2. […] How to Prepare a Pumpkin – Fostering Nutrition […]

  3. […] How to Prepare a Pumpkin – Fostering Nutrition How to Preserve Winter Squash without Cooking it – Wellness Mama How to Make Pumpkin Puree (SO Easy!) – Oh, the Things We’ll Make! *Where to buy the best pureed pumpkin* […]

  4. […] How Our Ancestors Prepare a Pumpkin; Plus 26 Amazing Recipe Links by Fostering Nutrition […]

  5. […] How to Prepare a Pumpkin – Fostering Nutrition How to Preserve Winter Squash without Cooking it – Wellness Mama How to Make Pumpkin Puree (SO Easy!) – Oh, the Things We’ll Make! *Where to buy the best pureed pumpkin* […]

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