Making Time for Kitchen Experiments! {Homemade Pumpkin Butter Recipe}

in #naturalmedicinelast year (edited)

Happy Sunday friends! Here in the US the time changed overnight, so I am trying to use the extra hour in a productive manner. I wish I could sleep in like some folks, but my internal clock likes to rise before the sun. I'm sure I'll crash by 8pm this evening to balance it out. 😉

Yesterday I spent the afternoon working on breaking down my beautiful heirloom pumpkin from Pinewood Springs Farm that I bought at the farmers market a while back. As I was elbows deep in pumpkin seeds, it made me think about how much joy I've gotten in the past year removing the barriers of time and insecurity in experimenting so much more with making homemade goods. Of course I have been cooking and meal prepping for many years now, but up until recently I hadn't really taken the time to attempt some of the "extras" outside of the simple things like hummus and quick pickles.

Like many people, I often use the excuse that I don't have "time" to do certain things. I'll take an hour to get lost in the rabbit hole of social media, when I could be doing other things or I take too long working on something when I don't set a deadline. Home-cooked meals are always a priority as that has just become second nature now (for health, for budget, and the pleasure it brings), but it is so easy sometimes to just buy a jar of jam or grab a can of pumpkin puree instead of making them. Convenience really does make us lazy. Not that I am knocking some of those items! I know there are lots of people working full time (and then some), taking care of families, and just trying to get through the day with many obstacles taking up their precious time. For me, though, I know if I set my priorities correctly I can often carve out some space in my day or week to work on letting my inner homesteader loose!

A portion of the puree ready for freezing to use later!

Fear or insecurity about doing something correctly is also often a "block" to trying new things. I used to think I couldn't come up with my own recipes, so I always used cookbooks or blogs to plan out my meals. Fast forward a few years and I have my own little cookbook published (and outlining the next)! The same seems to be holding true for trying new things like making sauerkraut or the apple cider vinegar I have fermenting in the basement right now. I love following homesteading blogs to learn all kinds of ways to preserve locally grown fruits and veggies. Little by little I'm taking that inspiration and applying it to my own farmers market and garden hauls. Kudos as always to my amazing local farmers for growing so many interesting crops to keep me trying new things, as well. From simply having my freezer stocked full of hand-picked berries we loaded up on this summer, to now having my freshly roasted and pureed pumpkin ready for pies, muffins and smoothies, to experimenting with different jams and spreads--my repertoire (and pantry) continues to grow. I've even started coming to love the dehydrator after being on the fence the first time I tried it.

Homemade food is the best preventative medicine to maintaining your health from the inside, but it really is also a balm to the soul. You have control over each ingredient, so you can make things fit your lifestyle and health standards. It also is much more environmentally-friendly in many cases. I'm really trying to decrease the amount of waste we produce, so making things at home versus continually buying new jars or packages is a good way to work on that goal.

I was pooped after carefully cutting open my pumpkin, scooping out the seeds to preserve and also roast some for snacks, cooking the fruit, then pureeing and divvying it up for the freezer. Oh, and also making the awesome pumpkin butter I'll eventually get to below. I have so much respect for the folks who make all of their goods from scratch as it is absolutely a full time job. It is one of the most rewarding ways you can spend your time, though. I have never regretted an afternoon spent in the kitchen preparing these types of things that keep myself and my loved ones full and healthy.

I've got plenty more to learn and areas to grow (still a bit intimidated by canning), but I have lots of inspiration to continue moving forward and trying new things. Hopefully I can inspire a few folks along the way myself!

Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Butter

Makes approximately enough for 3 pint jars

  • 5 cups freshly roasted pumpkin (or about 2-3 15-ounce cans of puree)*
  • 2 apples, cored & roughly chopped
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon molasses

Place all of the ingredients in an electric pressure cooker. Use the manual button to set for 10 minutes of cooking time. Use the natural release method to let the pressure come down. Once the pressure has released, carefully remove the lid and let the mixture cool down slightly. Use a hand blender to puree or place the mixture into a blender in batches if needed.

*Since I had just roasted my pumpkin, I scooped out the flesh right from the pumpkin and put it straight in the pressure cooker. One less step. 😉

Roselle (Hibiscus) Jam

On the same theme, I also couldn't help but throw in my first batch of Roselle jam, as well! I know @lenasveganliving has been waiting for the full write up on this one. My dear friend is having her next surgery later on this week, so make sure to send the queen of #fruitsandveggiesmonday some good thoughts for a fast recovery. Thanks to @joelai for the awesome recipe for me to work from!

I used coconut sugar in this jam as a sweetener. Just a half a cup was plenty to tone down the tartness a bit, and the outcome was perfect! I left the petals in, as well, and just hit the final product with the hand blender once it cooled off. Just the Roselle, water and the bit of sugar were the only ingredients needed for a wonderful jam. We still have a bit left that we are enjoying. I found it especially delicious on fresh-baked bread from the market with homemade walnut butter. I also dried some for use in teas and perhaps some other recipes.

Thanks to @naturalmedicine and @innerblocks for hosting this challenge on looking at the "blocks" we've experienced to initiating positive changes in our lives. I'm also tagging #fruitsandveggiesmonday to give Lena and the contest some love, even though I'm a little bit early today. I will try to get a monthly recap post up next week on the @vegansofsteemit page to show the wonderful entrants some love for their continued fantastic entries and dedication to the contests.

On a final note, any of my Steemit foodies may also enjoy jumping in on the latest @phctop3 contest we have going on this month. Entries to share your Top 3 Comfort Foods can come in all the way through the 9th of this month! Check out the contest post for more information to join the fun.

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How awesome!

Thanks. :)

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Oh my God!!! That hibiscus jam looks freaking insane. I often think to myself “self, you should really start making @dandays homemade jams” and then the thought passes without another action. Haha. Oh how I miss my pumpkin season. Oddly enough the rest of the world doesn’t obsess about pumpkin flavored everything as the U.S. does. Maybe I can convince you to send some over… 🥶… just a thought.

So I came over to your page to let you know that I’ve picked up my running again and am so stoked to have a path on the water. Although, I almost puked yesterday, today it makes bragging to you so much sweeter. Haha. Thanks @plantstoplanks for keeping me accountable.

Haha, once you get on the homemade bandwagon, you'll realize just how easy it is to make! I started off with chia jams (super simple), but this hibiscus was super fun and delicious. The inner seed pod has so much natural pectin it gelled up on its own! Kitchen magic I tell you. I would happily send some pumpkin goodness your way. I'm going to snitch my sister's pumpkin to cook down, too, as long as my niece doesn't catch me...

Woohoo for running! I've had a busy few days, so getting antsy to get back out myself soon! My next nutrition event is tomorrow, so might not be until Sunday but I will pound that glorious pavement again in the next few days. I imagine that is quite the scenery you have to run in at the moment! Brag away, my friend! I'm happy to hear it!

I know, you are the one who actually inspired my thought to make chia jam. I have yet to try it but it’s swirling in my head of ideas for when we settle a bit.

Yes, the running thing is either in your blood or it’s not. Love that you are consistently “gettin it” (said in my most redneck accent). Haha

We just got back from eating at an all organic, all vegan joint in the center of town here. It was nice to see this kind of option here but the food was just “meh”. I swear we are spoiled by so many home cooked meals. My go to lately, since arriving in Greece, is roasted vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes with a liberal amount of oregano, Greek olive oil, and garlic/ginger. I bought a small block of fresh feta from the local cheese market and we enjoy a small slice with our roasted veggies. I figure it wouldn’t be experiencing Greece without trying a little (smallest space between pointer and thumb finger here) of the worlds best feta with our meals here and there. Hahaha…😬. Good to hear from you @plantstoplanks.

Sounds and looks great

Thanks for share pumpkin recipe

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Happy to share with you all!

Katie, we speak the same language.... so much of what you say resonates.

On the pumpkin, I am thinking that I might actually go in search of a pumpkin this year and do some experimenting of my own. A traditional dish in South Africa is pumpkin fritters...and experimenting (never a problem for me) with making those.

On canning: it really isn't difficult. If you do quick pickles, you can make a big batch and then sterilise them. Effectively that's canning. Actually, that reminds me I should share my preserved apricot and/or clementine recipe which, actually, is canning. BTW, I'll find it or remind me - my post "Pretty Pickle" is basically canning.

That butter and that roselle jam both look divine. I need to try them...

Good evening!

Oh yes, you definitely need to track down some yummy pumpkin when it pops up! There were still plenty of these beauties left even yesterday, so there's a possibility I'll grab another one before the season finishes out. Lots of work, but a true labor of love. I don't mind pumpkin in just about anything either, so it won't go to waste!

I'm sure as soon as I jump on the canning bandwagon I will find my fears were entirely misplaced! I think it's perhaps more a sense of being overwhelmed with the process of trying something new more than fear really. Up to this point I've had plenty of refrigerator and freezer space, too, so it hadn't really been a necessity. Now that I keep expanding my experiments, though, my cold storage is just about full so having a few items that didn't need to be refrigerated would be awesome. I'll keep scouring my favorite Steem folks to get up the nerve to get to business soon. :)

One of these days we'll have to get in the kitchen together. Hhhhmm, that's another good top 3 topic--top Steemians you would love to cook with! 😂

A kitchen get together. That would be amaaaazing!

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 last year (edited)

you must try the simple - cook pumpkin slices in coconut milk along with a single green chilly, curry. The pumpkin cooks fast and its great along with hot rice

That sounds just delicious!

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Yeah! The jam is ready! And for FAVM contest! You made my day I am going to study these delicious recipes in detail @tipu curate 🌸😊🌸
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Thank you 😊

Had to make sure I squeezed it in there for you! I don't know if you saw on IG yet, but my farmer pal made a fruit leather out of the jam, too! He just dehydrated the jam on parchment. So cool!

I am glad you did Katie! And I just went to check the fruit leather, but I couldn't find it. Sounds amzing though 😊

nice, I never tried pumpkin. Looks yumm.

I also went from steem to your website, love it, really nice work.

Oh it's wonderful! Pumpkin can be used in so many ways. I'm a big fan of all the squashes in the same family--butternut squash, acorn, kabocha. Thank you for checking out my website, as well! I changed up the look a bit earlier this year, so I appreciate the kind feedback! Still a work in progress, but learning more and more as I go along. :)

Fear or insecurity about doing something correctly is also often a "block" to trying new things.

Soooo true!!! And once you break that block you wonder why you didn't do it earlier, and then wonder why on earth you didn't do it in the first place! OMG that pumpkin butter looks INSANELY delicious!!! Far out brussel sprout. Bookmarking!

I think that's one of the things I enjoy about getting older--I have definitely realized that most of my fears are pretty darn silly. Doesn't mean I don't still let it hold me back sometimes, but I have much less anxiety than I used to. And I can laugh a whole lot more when I do fall on my face. I know I'll always get back up again (or perfect the recipe, if you will). :)

Interesting recipes the one I am really taken by is the jam it looks so good

Both spreads are delicious! The pumpkin tastes like fall, and the roselle jam is tart and bright!


Awesome! Thank you for this! We just harvested quite a few large pumpkins from our food forest / garden. We cured some for shelf storage, roasted and scooped some for freezer, and now I'll use some for pumpkin butter!! I bet this would taste awesome on some homemade cinnamon raisin bread.

Omg stop it you!

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Oh boy, now my mouth is watering thinking about cinnamon raisin bread. That's on my list to start experimenting more with--homemade breads. I can make muffins like a champ, but would love to branch out more into the bread realm. I hope the seeds I saved will be good for us to try growing some of these next year. Though I do love helping support the awesome farmers that grow these beauties, too.

That looks soo delicious! Thanks for sharing this with us. May you have a great week ahead

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Thanks so much! Hope you have an awesome week, as well!

Yum! I've still got three more pumpkins to go, and they're HUGE!, so this will definitely be on the list. Thanks for sharing!

Haha, nice! The good thing is there are so many awesome ways to use it, you can't go wrong with lots of pumpkin! Reminds me I need to check with my sister to see if she's going to roast hers. If not I'll happily take it off her hands...

Awesome. It is so wonderful to read about homemade foods. The pumpkin butter looks great and so does the jam.

Thanks a bunch! Nothing beats the wholesome things made at home with care and love. Tastes so much better than anything you can buy at the store. :)

Welcome and you are so right. Take care

I really enjoyed reading this post! Convenience really does make us lazy. It takes a lot of effort to make home cooked meals but it is so rewarding and so much better for our health as you have mentioned.

I kind of feel like you used to. I use quite a lot of recipes and ideas from blogs. I sometimes venture off into my own thing but usually go back to a recipe because I’m afraid my own creations won’t turn out as good. I’m slowly trusting myself more and coming up with my own twist on things. It was very inspiring to hear you are already outlining your second cookbook, congratulations! I need to have more confidence in that, knowing I can come up with my own meals as well.

The pumpkin butter and the jam both look so delicious! Thanks for sharing ~

So glad you enjoyed this! I still love perusing blogs and my collection of cookbooks, especially for baking. But a lot of the time now I will look at something for inspiration and then do my own take on it. When I first moved out on my own I remember calling my mother three times over the course of making one meal, crying when I sliced my finger and almost had to throw out the whole thing. I can laugh about it now and take pleasure in how much I've learned in the last 15 years of growing as a cook! I'm sure you'll continue to blossom in your own wonderful way in the kitchen. That's one of the great things about cooking--you can find your own groove and style. Happy cooking!

Wow thanks again for the encouragement. I do find a lot of inspiration in recipes and then try to make them my own. I remember crying over the stove when I first got married 12 years ago, I’ve come along way since then too! 😄

Happy Cooking!

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This really got my brain reeling on a post I would like to write. Preparing food is good for the soul. I want to write more, but then my blog would be in your comment section!

Of course, your pictures make my mouth water! Every time I see them I think, "When I grow up, I want my food pics to look just like that!" haha Thank you for your inspiration!

Yay, can't wait to read your take on it! And thank you for the wonderful words! I still sometimes feel like a blogging and photography novice, so it makes me happy when my food posts do the item justice. Nothing better than making plant-based foods look sexy. ;)

Haha this made me laugh! You are right...nothing looks better!

Glad you love the taste @plantstoplanks!! Enjoy!

I'm savoring every bit! :)

We LOVE roselle and it's everywhere here in Thailand, but we eat very limited bread and almost never touch jams. And so we use them for TEA! :) YUMM!! Iced roselle tea is soooo refreshing on a hot, tropical day!! LOVE your handsome pumpkin!

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I did dry some for tea, but for some reason I haven't made any yet! I often do that with things--I get so excited to make them, but then I'm afraid to use it up too quickly, haha. It's getting pretty chilly here these days, so I am definitely back onto the warm tea bandwagon. Perhaps I'll finally crack open that jar of beautiful petals in a bit...

Homemade just tastes so yummy. Thanks for recipe on the pumpkin butter. It looks delicious and so does the jam.

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Aww, thank you Lena! 😍

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Most welcome Katie 😍


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I have to make this pumpkin butter, looks really delicious! I've never seen roselle around here but must try and use more coconut sugar so my type 1 diabetic hubby can enjoy a sweet treat now and then! Thanks for the inspiration Katie:)

We have definitely been enjoying this pumpkin butter! I'm sure you would, as well. Another fantastic use of those yummy dates for natural sweetness. I wanted to try to use dates for the jam, as well, but was a bit pressed for time the day I made it so opted for the coconut sugar as another healthier alternative. It still kept the nice tart flavor and definitely wasn't too sweet. :)

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Yes please? I remember falling in love with apple butter as a child. Growing up, I was sad to realize the taste just wasn't the same! Then realized... it was homemade, and NOTHING now days could ever compete... wonderful post my friend.. thank you for sharing!

Aww, thanks for sharing your childhood memory with me! It really is so true. Nothing beats homemade. I'm so thankful that I generally have the time and energy into making food at home. Some weeks I get super busy and can only manage the basics, but the weeks when I get time to make yummy pumpkin butter or other items like this my heart is happy.