This is a guest post from Jo of Lasting Thumbprints.
It’s the time of year that pumpkins become the star in many recipes and I have a frugal tip for getting them free. Five years ago, my husband and I started collecting (whole) pumpkins from friends and neighbors as they finished using them for decorating purposes to use in our meals. Our friends were glad to get rid of them before they started rotting on their porches and we were thrilled to get some free food. 😉
So what do we do with a pile of pumpkins? The majority of the time we cook a whole pumpkin in the oven and make homemade pumpkin puree. As far as food preservation goes, this is pretty easy. And don’t throw out those seeds! Your free pumpkins can yield another free crop of food next year if you save and dry the seeds. We have used both pie pumpkins and larger pumpkins to make homemade pumpkin puree successfully. Pie pumpkins do tend to be sweeter and less fibrous though.
When we started doing this I didn’t have a whole lot of experience using pumpkin, but it quickly became one of my favorite fall and winter flavors. Here are just a few ways that we use pumpkin puree:
- Homemade Baby Food
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Pumpkin Coconut Muffins
- Pumpkin Curry Soup
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Add to soups (potato soup, vegetable soup, etc.)
This will be our first fall since our oldest son had to switch to a gluten free diet. I’m hoping to find a good gluten free pumpkin roll recipe and a pumpkin sauce for pasta. There are tons of pumpkin recipes out there just waiting to be tested. So put out the word that you’re willing to “recycle” other people’s fall decor. It doesn’t get any cheaper than free!
Do you have any creative ways to find free food sources? We’d love to hear from you!
Jo Anderson is a homeschooling mom of four (soon to be five!) cool kiddos and wife of one pretty cool guy. She desires to build a home where the mundane turns to memorable and the momentary becomes eternal. She enjoys laughing, a good cup of tea, spending time outside, and empty laundry baskets. You can follow her pursuit of a legacy worth leaving at Lasting Thumbprints.