I have been craving homemade pancakes and for some reason I wanted to try my hand at homemade pumpkin pancakes for Andy (he loves pumpkin and I enjoy experimenting with new recipes for him). I went to The Pioneer Woman’s website to see if she had a recipe for pumpkin puree. Do any of y’all watch her on Food Network? She can be a little over the top but her recipes are so yummy! I knew that I wouldn’t need a lot of pumpkin for his pancakes so I planned on saving any extra puree to use as Dawson’s baby food (it’ll keep frozen for 6 months or longer). First, I bought two baby pumpkins for less than $3 each at Bi-Lo.
Once I got home, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Next, I cut the tops off of the pumpkins. I would suggest using a good knife with a serrated edge for all of the pumpkin cutting.
If you notice, the standing pumpkin has a bit of a “bruise” on it. I later cut that part out and discarded it. Next, I cut both pumpkins in half.
Then, I scrapped out all of the seeds and as much of the strings as I could. Afterward, I cut each half into thirds.
After cutting the pumpkin into pieces I put them on a cookie sheet. Now, here is where you can have fun spicing the pumpkin up a bit. I left one pumpkin plain so that it would be a true pumpkin taste for Dawson. However, I dressed the second pumpkin up some. I poured a little bit of vegetable oil on it (I was out of olive oil, which I would have preferred to use), and sprinkled on equal parts brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. I read that this is a great way to introduce your baby to seasonings and spices.
I put them in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. Our kitchen smelled absolutely amazing! There is no reason for a Fall candle when you make this recipe. It definitely got us in the Fall spirit! While they were cooking, I labeled storage bags with the date, amount and whether it was spiced or plain pumpkin.
Once the timer was off I tried to peel the pumpkin away from the skin but it was just too hot. It was much easier to do after letting it cool for about 5 minutes. Andy tried a piece of the pumpkin at this point and thought it was very good.
I then ran a knife behind the skin and the pumpkin easily slid right off. I found that a butter knife made this step very easy. I put all of the chunks of the plain pumpkin in the food processor first and when I was finished with that batch I made the spiced pumpkin so that they weren’t mixed.
I gave the pumpkin a good pulse in the machine and noticed that it was a little dry. I put a teaspoon full of water in at a time until it was the right consistency. Then, I measured the puree and put it in the appropriate labeled bag.
I repeated this process with the spiced pumpkin. Once the bags were filled, I pushed the air out and stuck them in the freezer.
The most time consuming part of this recipe was the 45 minutes that the pumpkin roasted. It is a very easy recipe and aside from the baking time, it really is quick. Pumpkin has many health benefits, including this list from Huffington Post. This recipe is a great way to make sure that my family (and newest addition) will be getting the vitamins and nutrition that they need. If you would like to read more about being fit and eating foods that will help you lead a healthy life check out #TheFitDish linkup every Tuesday!
Have you ever made your own baby food? What baby foods do you like to make? Why do you choose to make your own baby food? If you didn’t, what kept you from making your own?