Ways to Cook Fresh Pumpkin Easily


Authored by Veronika Fevers in Food and Cooking
Published on 01-07-2010

While it may seem easier to reach for a can of pumpkin for your recipe, fresh pumpkin can add a whole different flavor profile to your holiday dish. The problem with this is that many people do not know how to cook fresh pumpkin, or find the process too daunting. However, cooking fresh pumpkin is not nearly as difficult as you may think. In this article I will review two ways to cook fresh pumpkin easily.

The first of many ways to cook fresh pumpkin easily is the microwave method. Though not a personal favorite, it can be done. Micro waving fresh pumpkin can expedite the process by about a half an hour.

To cook fresh pumpkin in a microwave easily, start by cutting the pumpkin in half. However, you must make sure that you leave the pumpkin’s skin intact. Once you have cut the pumpkin in half, the next step is to remove the seeds gutting the gourd but leaving the meaty pumpkin goodness. After the seeds have been removed the pumpkin should be cut into pieces small enough to fit into a microwave-safe dish. The pumpkin should be covered with liquid of your choice to prevent it from drying out prior to it being placed into the microwave. Examples of liquids that can be used include olive oil, butter, cooking spray, chicken broth, or even water. Fresh pumpkin should be cooked covered for approximately 15-20 minutes. At this point, if the pumpkin is soft it is done. After cooking the fresh pumpkin, it can be pureed or smashed to fit your recipe’s needs.

Fresh pumpkin is a great addition to any meal. In fact fresh pumpkin is so versatile it can accommodate many menus. From risotto and lasagnas to baked goods, fresh pumpkin can also brighten up any soup or stew recipe. Fresh pumpkin can also be substituted for squash for a unique twist also.

Another way to cook fresh pumpkin easily is to use a conventional oven. Although this way is not as fast as the microwave method, the resulting product tends to be more consistent when using a conventional oven. Cooking fresh pumpkin in a conventional oven is also more likely to cook thoroughly the first time around. Microwave cooking tends to leave the fresh pumpkin only partially cooked and there are often parts that aren’t cooked as well as others.

When using a conventional oven to cook fresh pumpkin, the first step is to make sure that the pumpkin is cut in half and the seeds are removed. However, unlike the microwave method the pumpkin does not require being cut into pieces. Simply place the two halves face down on a cookie sheet and cook for 45 minutes or so. Once the fresh pumpkin is cooked thoroughly, it will be soft in texture similar to a potato is when you bake it.

Now you have several ways to cook fresh pumpkin easily. Fresh pumpkin works well in any recipe calling for canned pumpkin and the taste is much better. Try using fresh pumpkin in breads, pies, and biscotti recipes…you will be pleasantly surprised!


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