Happy Halloween! What better puree to make than pumpkin puree?!? Such a delicious winter squash with many health benefits for your little bumpkin baby!
Pumpkin has such an impressive nutrient profile. It’s highly rich in vitamin A and besides being packed with many vitamins and minerals, it’s also high in beta-carotene!
Since I find it hard to cut into raw pumpkins, what I like about this recipe is that you just stick the whole winter squash straight into the oven. You don’t have to cut into the pumpkin until after it is roasted and soft. Making it easier to cut so you don’t have to cut off your fingers trying to slice it before hand (not my ideal Halloween scare).
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PUREE
What Kind of Pumpkin Should You Use to Make Pumpkin Puree for Your Baby?
Pumpkin is such a versatile veggie. Once your baby masters single vegetable purees, you can mix pumpkin with practically everything! I like to look for firm pumpkin that do not have to many dents and marks. I love buying my daughter organic pumpkin from my local pumpkin patch during the Fall season. You don’t have to buy organic, but I do highly recommend it for your baby’s puree. I always try to go with the organic option if it’s available for my little one.
When searching for pumpkins to cook for your baby food. I recommend getting the sugar pumpkins for your puree! Sugar pumpkins, also called sweet pumpkins or pie pumpkins, are sweet and less fibrous than a regular pumpkin, which makes it a great choice for cooking. Plus sugar pumpkins are smaller making it easier to fit into the oven to roast!
Wash the Pumpkin
I always wash my veggies and fruits even if I am not using the skin/peel. This is because I don’t want to push any dirt, pesticides or other unwanted contaminants that can be living on the outside of the vegetable or fruit with the peeler tool or knife.
How to Cook the Pumpkin
When it comes to cooking pumpkin, I recommend roasting the pumpkin because it brings out its natural sweetness and keeps its nutrients as well. Baking/roasting and steaming are the preferred methods to use when cooking homemade food. Boiling food can actually remove some of the nutrients within a vegetable or fruit.
Foods such as carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, parsnips, pears and peaches are wonderfully flavorful when baked.
Roast the Pumpkin
Dry the pumpkin off from the washing process and then no need to cut the squash in half like other cooking websites say to do. This process is so hard because it’s difficult to cut a squash in half before baking! Instead, pierce the skin making holes with a knife all over the squash.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil (Costco’s Kirkland brand is actually a top pick with olive oil experts!) onto the squash and rub it all over and place on a cooking pan.
Next I roast the winter squash in the oven at 425 degrees for 60-100 minutes, until you can pierce it easily with a knife and until it is browned and look close to the image below.
Remove the Seeds and Stringy Flesh
After you bake the pumpkin, you’ll want to remove the seeds; along with the stringy flesh attached to the seeds, and the peel. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the stringy flesh that surrounds the seeds.
Next, I remove the skin by scooping out the flesh with a spoon. The skin isn’t edible, so make sure you remove it before blending it in the blender for your baby!
Blend the Pumpkin
Using my Blendtec (always blends my baby purees perfectly), I blend the pumpkin until it’s a silky smooth puree. When your baby first starts on solids, you want to blend their food to being silky smooth because they are not ready to handle textures quite yet. Once your baby starts to grow you can leave the puree a little chunkier and chunkier as they age.
Freeze the Pumpkin
When you make your baby purees; I always recommend making it in a large batch so you can easily heat up the frozen batches on another day. I love using these silicone trays because they are easy to remove the purees from and they freeze in small honeycomb shapes, which are much easier to defrost than the large square cubes that other companies offer and take longer to defrost.
Once the puree is frozen in the silicone trays, pop out the honeycomb ice cubes and store them in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag in the freezer.
Reheat the Pumpkin
Warm the pumpkin in a microwaveable safe dish (I like to use the OXO Tot baby block glass container for heating up my baby’s food) in the microwave for 30 seconds (pausing half way to stir). At the moment I like to use 8 honeycomb cubes for my baby (about as much as she eats at the moment per feeding). Make sure the pumpkin is not too warm/hot before feeding your baby! You can also reheat over the stove as well.
You can also combine other whole foods in your baby’s puree that you have previously frozen, for optimal flavor and nutrients. The following list is a general guide, so feel free to be adventurous and combine and build your own meals for your little one:)
Pumpkin Flavor Compatibility Guide
|Broccoli||Cannellini Beans||Other Winter Squash||Carrots|
|Lentils||Green Beans||Northern Beans||Kidney Beans|
|Pears||Navy Beans||Pinto Beans||Split Peas|
|Sweet Peas||Spinach||Kale||Summer Squash|
|Blueberries||Sweet Potatoes||Whole Grains||Cereal|
If you have read my post on the importance of probiotics for your child (linked here); you can sprinkle a little probiotics on top of your homemade baby food for added nutritious value.
If you make something from Herb’n Sage, I would love to hear about it in the comments! Don’t forget to rate this recipe and follow along on Instagram and Youtube for more recipes and inspirations for your creations for your little loved one(s)<3
Homemade Baby Food: Pumpkin Puree is so easy to make and tastes so much better than store bought varieties!
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Wash the pumpkin
- Pierce the pumpkin all over with a knife
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and rub all over the pumpkin
- Bake at 425 degrees for 60-100 minutes; until a knife or skewer can go easily into it
- Let cool and then cut in half
- Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh surrounding the seeds
- Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and discard the skin
- Add the pumpkin to a blender and blend
- Freeze excess pumpkin puree in the freezer (I like to freeze my purees in these silicone trays)
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