We took a trip to a pumpkin patch this week. A favorite and somewhat new tradition. We took the boys for the first time last year and had such a great time, we repeated it this year. The patch is a farm north of us and it's a great open, country space. Reminiscent of my younger years, where I grew up. I lived in the country so I well remember the open space and big skies. Oliver loved the chance to run freely (we live in a suburban area) and Aleksandr loved the pumpkins and gourds. He took a bite out of one actually. Woops.
But I picked up two pie pumpkins while we were there. I've been roasting and pureeing my own pumpkins since Oliver was a baby. I have been on a food journey for several years and the more I learn the more excited I become about it. Food is so healing, and eating for those purposes just makes sense. The old saying, "you are what you eat", is so true in my own life. I started this food journey because of my personal health issues. I feel like the Lord has led me along this road and He continues to bless as we make better decisions for our food and health choices in our family. I can start a list of how good He has been to us, but I know that it would be LONG. I may post about it in the future, because I love to tell of what God has done. Entering into a cleaner way of eating, cutting out processed foods and focusing on nutrient dense meals (and snacks) is not easy. It's time consuming, it's expensive, and it can completely become an idol in itself. All of these keep me in prayer whenever I learn something new that I'd love to include in our food budget, as well as keeping everything balanced and in perspective. What is the most important thing? My relationship with God first.
If I am struggling with finding a balance with our money and time for foods, putting God, my husband and my family after food, well, then it's time to refocus and eat a bag of doritos. Ha! Maybe not the doritos, but definitely take a breather and get my focus back where it should be.
Really, I have seen a HUGE difference in my health (physical and mental) due to what I have taken out of our diet and what we've added in. Cooking from scratch, eliminating processed foods (as much as you can), reading labels, switching out refined sugars for natural sweeteners, and using real fats is a great way to start if you are wanting to go down the path of eating real foods.
SOOO, with that said I love sharing something that is easy and good for you!
It's the time of year when they are in season and the "pie" pumpkins are easily available just about anywhere.
I like to use pureed pumpkin in anything I can. It's considered a superfood and is packed full of vitamins. (I love that seasonal foods deliver such a punch with nutrients for our bodies. I think God did that on purpose! :)
Roasting a pumpkin. I know it sounds like something your grandma would do, especially when you can buy a can of it on the shelf. But I take satisfaction in the freshness of getting it straight out of the ground!
To roast your own pumpkin:
- Chop the pumpkin into two pieces (I chopped the stem off first), and scoop out seeds and that stringy stuff (I set my pile of seeds in a bowl to roast later).
- Wrap in foil and place on a cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour.
- Scoop out pumpkin from shell.
- Puree ( I added a little bit of water to make it blend easier) and store. You can freeze it for later!
My one pumpkin made about 4 cups puree. What to do with it?
I am searching out pumpkin recipes. I have never tried it savory, so maybe I'll be brave and do that (soup?), but I usually add it where I can easily like in oatmeal, as muffins, breads and of course my favorite holiday treat–pumpkin whoopie pies. They aren't a nutritious option, but we look forward to them each year!
When all this was done, I was thinking of how long this pumpkin would last when I looked on the counter and realized I had another pumpkin waiting. Yah for forgetfulness!
Meanwhile, I'm drying out my pumpkin seeds to roast later. Hoping this time they taste a little better than the last time I tried roasting. Any favorite pumpkin recipes you'd like to share?