Wednesday, October 12, 2016

(Winter Squash) Pumpkin Puree- Instant Pot

Instant Pot Pumpkin Puree ready for the freezer.
It's Pumpkin season y'all! Before we go any further, I mean: it's winter squash season y'all! We are huge fans of winter squash around here. So many varieties to choose from, SO yes, make pumpkin puree. But don't forget all the other wonderful varieties which are great for both savory and sweet applications!
Any of these winter squash can be made in the Instant Pot, oven, or slow cooker.

Now, most popular is pumpkin, and for many of those pumpkin recipes, you need puree! So I thought I would try my hand at Pumpkin puree in my good old Instant Pot. I know I can do way more in my oven at once. But the Instant Pot can certainly get this done way faster than roasting for 45 or so minutes. It takes 6 minutes of cooking time, adding in maybe 5-10 minutes of the pot coming to pressure. For three pumpkins, it's amazing. I did two batches back to back. Still less time than using the oven.

Three Sugar Pumpkin nestled in my 6 quart pressure cooker.
Initially I was worried about using this method. I think that the oven yields a more concentrated pumpkin flavor because you are roasting and it's a dry heat that evaporates the liquid and in turn concentrates the flavor. Unless I'm eating a spoonful of oven roasted and following with a spoonful of steamed/slow cooker/pressure cooker I don't think I could tell the difference. This is a method I would use again and again.
Pumpkin Puree tagged and ready for the freezer.

I prefer cutting my pumpkins in half to cook. For one I feel it's easier to remove the seeds while leaving behind the stringy pulp, and one of the things I really dislike doing is cleaning pumpkin seeds before roasting. Another reason is I can fit more than one pumpkin in the pot at once. With a good chef's knife cutting a sugar pumpkin in half is easy. Way easier than a spaghetti squash. One of the biggest reasons is that the pumpkin cook in half the time when cut.

Delicata squash mashed and ready for the freezer.
For bigger portions, I freeze mashed or pureed squash in food saver bags that are flat. Once frozen they are easy to stack or file in the freezer.

Freezer Tip: Freezing the pumpkin puree is easy peasy. You can use food saver bags, freezer safe jars, freeze in muffin tins or ice cube trays. I measure and weigh as I portion out to freeze for recipes. Generally I don't cook with recipes, but if I'm testing a recipe to type up for the hundredth time weights and measurements help a ton. My herb freezing tray is great, it holds 3 tablespoons of puree per cube. You can see how I label the bag in the picture above. For larger quantities, freeze in bags flat so they are easier to store.


Find more PUMPKIN posts, recipes, and ideas HERE.
Roasting Pumpkin for puree

Pumpkin Puree/ Steamed Winter Squash 

(Instant Pot method)
Sugar/Pie pumpkins, or other winter squash
1.5 cups water

You'll need to use a trivet or steamer basket. I use the trivet that came with my Instant Pot.

Cut pumpkin method:
  1. Wash your pumpkin/s.
  2. Using a chef's knife cut the stem off of your pumpkin, leaving a flat surface.
  3. Turn the pumpkin onto the stem side/on the flat side to keep it steady.
  4. Cut the pumpkin in half.
  5. Scrape the seeds out gently, leaving behind as much of the stringy stuff as you can. (This is simply to make the job of cleaning the seeds to roast easier.)
  6. Once the seeds are reserved for roasting, scoop out the stringy parts of the pumpkin and discard.
  7. Place pumpkin halves into the Instant Pot on the trivet, with the water in the liner.*
  8. Cook the pumpkin on MANUAL, HIGH/MORE pressure, for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Once the cooking time has completed release the pressure by carefully opening the vent.
  10. Check to see of the pumpkin is tender. Add cooking time one minute at a time if needed.
  11. Take the pumpkin out of the pot and scoop out the pumpkin, discard the shells.
  12. Mash or process the pumpkin in a blender or food processor.
  13. Pumpkin puree freezes well.**
* I place the pumpkin on their sides so water doesn't pool in them while cooking.
**Freezer tip- I weigh my pumpkin as I freeze it. I put those weights and measurements on the bag or jar that I freeze the pumpkin in so I can easily grab what I need for recipes.

Whole pumpkin method:
  1. Wash your pumpkin.
  2. Using a chef's knife cut the stem off of your pumpkin, discard.
  3. Place pumpkin into the Instant Pot on the trivet with the water in the liner.
  4. Cook the pumpkin on MANUAL, HIGH/MORE pressure, for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking time has completed release the pressure by carefully opening the vent.
  6. Check to see of the pumpkin is tender by piercing with a knife or fork. Add cooking time one minute at a time if needed.
  7. Take the pumpkin out of the pot using the trivet.
  8. Cut the pumpkin in half.
  9. Scrape the seeds and stringy pulp out of the pumpkin.
  10. Scoop out the pumpkin and discard the shell.
  11. Mash or process the pumpkin in a blender or food processor.
  12. Pumpkin puree freezes well.**
That's it! I hope you will try this method for pumping puree. Let me know how you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

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