A while back I went pie pumpkin picking at one of my favorite pick your own farms in my area. I love going here because it supports family farming and small business, their produce is cheaper and more natural than the grocery store, and I get to pick it right off the plant- so it is about as fresh as it gets! Plus the view is to die for:
This particular day I had a Groupon for the value of $30 that I paid just $15 for to use at this farm. I was very excited because that is an awesome deal. By the way if you want to join Groupon, it is a daily offer for your area for a small business. They just e-mail you the offer each morning and if you interested you can buy it- if not- just delete the e-mail.
OK moving back to pumpkin butter- So I picked two pie pumpkins on the beautiful fall morning that I visited the farm. One became my Autumn Spice Soup and the other I used to make this delicious pumpkin butter.
I washed and sliced the pumpkins/squash in half and roasted in the oven until they were soft:about 45 minutes on 425*.
I pureed the softened pumpkin and put it in a big crock pot. Then added all the good fall spices along with a hearty helping of brown sugar. Now that I have learned that allspice is actually its own unique ingredient, I decided I would purchase it.
I then stirred it up and let it cook on high for about 5 or 6 hours. It turned from a bright orange into a dark carmel brown. I was sick the weekend I made this, so I didn’t have the energy to do anything with it after it cooked so I let it cool and put it in the fridge for a few days. One evening after school I felt motivated enough to can it, so I broke out the canner and got all the water boiling while I heated the pumpkin butter on the stove.
Once the jars, lids and pumpkin butter were sterilized and hot, I started filling the jars with this oooey gooey goodness.
I then processed the jars in a boiling water bath for at least 40. Apparently the USDA does not recommend home canning of pumpkin butter because it is so thick that processing cannot properly heat through to kill bacteria to the level necessary for leave it on the shelf canning. I canned it, but am keeping it in my fridge. I also canned in half pint jars and cooked it to smithereens in the crock pot and again on the stove. So I feel comfortable they would be okay on the shelf, but since I want to use these as Christmas presents and don’t want to kill anyone- they are living in my fridge.
What is good for you in this pumpkin butter?
Pumpkin: Pumpkin flesh or pulp whichever is less gross sounding, has lots of great nutrients. It is super rich in beta carotene which of course helps keep your eyes healthy, but also your skin and immune system (some makeups contain pumpkin because of this). Beta Carotene is also a free radical fighter (to help fight against disease and cancer. Also high in potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and vitamin C.
All of beautiful fall spices are very healthy for you as well and have been discussed previously.
Eat, Enjoy and stay healthy!