Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Puree = Roasted Cayenne, Salted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pumpkin Waffles

Did you know that last week was National Waffle Week?  I was late in learning this, but I did make the cut off by making waffles on Saturday morning.  I don't make waffles regularly; but when I do; I like to make A LOT!  I used to buy the frozen pre made waffles because I thought I was making my life easier by paying a couple dollars for 8 to 10 waffles that I could pop in the microwave for 15 seconds.  A couple years ago when I started looking for ways to save money at the grocery store, I realized that I was spending more on the frozen waffles, then I would if I made them myself, and then froze them for later.  During my next trip to the grocery store, I bought all of the ingredients (which are basic pantry and refrigerator staples) to make 20 + waffles intent on freezing them for breakfast's to come.  20 + waffles lasts our family from 1 1/2 to 2 months, because I make them in a belgian waffle maker.  A belgian waffle is equivalent to 2 regular sized waffles, so in reality I am making 40 waffles.
I LOVE cooking in bulk, then freezing it for later, but the real plus in this recipe is that you can mix in whatever fruit, vegetable, or grain you fancy.  This is a perfect way to get your kids to eat their veggies.  Sometimes I toss in some good ol' flax seed, sometimes sweet potato, and other times on special occasions I like to go a little sweeter with banana's, and organic dark chocolate chips.  Today I opted for pumpkin because I had 4 small baking pumpkins sitting beautifully in front of my fireplace.  I prepped the pumpkin early this morning while I was drinking my morning coffee, and then baked it during the mid morning hours.  While I was prepping the pumpkin, I decided I would also roast the pumpkin seeds, and later make pumpkin waffles, using the puree I would make from the roasted pumpkin.  Sounds like a lot, but it's all very easy =)  You ready?

Let's start by first washing your whole pumpkins, and placing them on a cutting board.  

Grab a serrated knife and cut your pumpkins in half using a sawing motion.  Place pumpkin halves skin side down, and scoop out all seeds and strings.  I used an ice cream scooper, but a spoon works well too.  Make sure to separate the pumpkin seeds into a separate bowl.  Fill the pumpkin seed bowl with water to soak the seeds.

At this time, set your oven for 350 degrees F.  Place a wire rack (if you have one) in the bottom of a roasting pan, and fill with water until the bottom of the pan is completely covered.  Place the pumpkins skin down on the wire rack.

Cover your roasting pan with foil, and place it in the oven for 1 hour.  You may need to roast for longer, depending on the size of your pumpkins.  Check the tenderness of the pumpkin flesh periodically with a fork.

Meanwhile, grab your pumpkin seeds that have been soaking in a bowl, and pour them into a strainer.  Let them strain for 5 to 10 minutes.  

Remove your seeds from the strainer, and spread them evenly over a baking sheet.  Pour 1 tbsp olive oil over the seeds.  Sprinkle on a generous amount of cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.  

Use your hands to evenly coat the seeds with the olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.  Then place in the oven at 350 degrees F (your oven should already be set and ready) for 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the seeds are done roasting, they should be a beautiful golden color.  

Transfer your seeds from the baking sheet to a paper plate to allow for better cooling.  Once they are done cooling, place them in baggies, and store in a pantry for up to 3 weeks...if they last that long =)

Your house should be smelling amazing now with the aroma of roasting pumpkin filling the air.  Once your pumpkin's are done, take them out of the oven and remove the foil.  Allow them to cool for about 30 minutes.  

Now that the pumpkin is cool enough to touch, peel the skin off, and separate the flesh into a bowl.

Place your roasted pumpkin flesh into your blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. 

Now that your pumpkin is pureed, pour it into a tupperware container, and freeze, place in refrigerator, can it, or set it aside for the following recipe.  You can also freeze your puree in small bowls, to be used as baby food later.  When you're ready to serve to baby, simply thaw, add a lil' olive oil, or organic butter, and a couple sprinkles of cinnamon. 

Recipe Ingredients:

2 Small baking pumpkins
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper
Sea salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

Storing tip:  

If freezing your pumpkin, write the date and time on top of the container w/ a black permanent marker.  The pumpkin will stay good for 3 to 4 months, and writing the date and time on them is an easy way to keep track of their expiration date.

Pumpkin Waffles:

Grab a medium size bowl, and whisk together 1 1/3 c. flour, 4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. sugar.

In a small bowl, crack 2 eggs, separating the egg whites into the small bowl.  Set the 2 egg yolks in the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Beat the egg whites until moderately stiff.

Mix in 1 /34 c. milk, and 1/2 c. butter into the dry ingredients.  Next fold in the egg whites, and mix well. Sprinkle in 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/3 c. of pumpkin puree.
Mix all ingredients together.

Plug in your waffle maker, and set a clean plate to down next to it to place your finished waffle on.  

When your waffle maker is ready, ladle on your batter and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side.  The cooking time will depend on your waffle maker.

Yummy, yum...ready set eat!  Freeze in ziploc baggies, make a breakfast sandwich or two, or place them in baggies and serve them later as snacks.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 1/3 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 3/4 c. milk
1tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. pumpkin puree

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