Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Have you ever baked an entire pumpkin?
I'm guessing most haven't- I mean I hadn't until 2 years ago. But ever since then? Yesyesyesyesyesyes.
Sure, canned pumpkin is easy and cheap. An actual pumpkin yields SO MUCH more flavor to any pumpkin-containing recipe. It's something you should at least try out!
It seems like an intimidating process, so I made a quick video about it on my YouTube page. You could use the pumpkin to make a savory roasted pumpkin soup, a pumpkin Gruyere foccacia (which I've made before- SO good with a little mayo and fresh turkey), a pie, or of course my fave- good ol' pumpkin bread.
I've been making this recipe since I was 13 years old and I've rarely deviated- it's that good. The recipe as written makes a huge batch (like 4 standard loaves), but uses up the entire pumpkin. If you'd like to halve or quarter it, just freeze your leftover pumpkin mash.
1 medium pie pumpkin, guts and seeds removed, baked, and mashed (I had about 4 cups worth)- see video tutorial and bonus roasted pumpkin seed recipe at bottom
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
5 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a really large bowl, combine pumpkin mash, eggs, sugar, oil, and water. Blend until smooth-ish.
Meanwhile in another large bowl, combine flour and remaining ingredients.
Slowly add flour into wet mixture and blend just until incorporated.
Coat your loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and evenly divide batter. Bake for about 50 minutes- smaller loaf pans will bake slightly faster. Let cool for 2 minutes, then invert onto a baking rack to fully cool.
Makes four large loaves, 12 slices per loaf. Per slice: 166 calories, 22 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 57 mg sodium
Store leftover loaves in the refrigerator or freezer. These taste so good fresh out of the oven, but the next day the flavor is phenomenal.
Proof? After three pieces she was still whining for more.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
-Fresh pumpkin seeds, separated from guts (I put mine in a colander under gentle running water and pick away at the guts)
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-Seasoning of your choice (I love Trader Joe's "Everything But the Bagel")
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the pumpkin seeds dry and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour oil and seasonings over the seeds. Mix them up well- I just use my hands.
Bake for 10 minutes. Stir. Bake 5-10 more minutes. Let cool- if you can! Pumpkin seeds, like most seeds, are a great source of fiber, heart healthy unsaturated fats and a bit of protein to boot.
Per half cup: 140 calories, 17 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 6 grams fiber.