Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pumpkin Roasting

Fall is quickly coming. Soon it will be time for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread... pretty much pumpkin anything and everything. Did you know that pumpkin is an amazing food for your dog (or cat)? Pumpkin helps with digestion, urinary health and weight loss (Google it!). BUT, you do not want to give your dog canned pumpkin PIE filling. It has sugar and spices that are not so good for them. Instead, opt for the plain canned stuff or you can easily roast your own pumpkins!

This summer, I grew sugar pumpkins for the first time and just found out TODAY that I can roast them in the oven whole! This makes the infamous "cutting and gutting" a lot less time consuming. In fact, I roasted seven little pumpkins, cut them and froze them today.... all on a whim! Here is the process:

Beautiful pumpkins. Note how I placed them next to various other fruits in an attempt to show you the approximate size of a sugar pumpkin? Yes, that is a green tomato in the background... It was a casualty of my garden hose and now must be fried.

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut slits around your pumpkin and break off the stems.

Place the pumpkin(s) on a baking sheet and slide into the oven! Bake for approximately 30-minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily.  Once done, take the pumpkin(s) out of the oven and allow them to cool. This part takes a while, so you may want to do some housework, run some errands or take a nap.

Once cool, you start the cutting up part. First, slice off the ends and stand it upright. Next, slice the skin off.

Slice the pumpkin in half and scrape the guts out with a spoon. 

It should look like this when you are done...

Now Dice....

...and store...

Put it all into the freezer!! Now you can use as much or little as you want with out it going to waste. Give your little puppy a frozen pumpkin cube, bake it, cook it or puree it.... endless opportunities for pumpkin recipes.

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