Fall is in the air all around including loads of recipes calling for pumpkin puree. I have never liked the taste of canned pumpkin and I would not choose to purchase or use canned food with the exception of the occasional tuna and sardines. Making homemade pumpkin puree is way easier than it seems, since I am not the best at taking pictures during a cooking project, I found a great site that have pictures step by step here. She does it slightly different from me, but it still turns out the same 🙂
This can be done with pumpkins or any hard winter squash.
1 pumpkin or other hard winter squash
½ C filtered water
Preheat oven to 350.
Cut a pumpkin or other winter squash in half.
Remove all seeds and strings with a spoon or a tool specifically made for scraping pumpkins.
Cut each half into halves again so that you now have 4 pieces (you can keep it at 2 pieces if it is small or cut into more than 4 pieces if it is needed).
Place the pumpkin or squash facing down and skins up, on a cookie sheet with a rim, or use a cake pan.
Pour about ½ Cup of water on the pan and place it in the oven.
Check after 45 minutes to see if the flesh is soft and mashes well. If it does, it’s done. If not, check on it every 5 minutes or so until done.
When it’s done, take it out of the oven and let it cool about half way (it’s fine if it cools completely) before scraping out the flesh with a spoon and transferring to a food processor or blender.
Blend it into a puree and you done.
You now have your puree; you can use it right away or store it in the fridge for about 5 days. You could also measure it in portions and put in zip-locks in the freezer – make sure you write the contents and date made. I have heard of people canning, but I have not tried it myself.
Through many attempts and trial and error, I have perfected my favorite gluten free hamburger bun! It works best with medium or small sized burgers. The only problem with these is that they don’t soak up the condiments such as mayo, ketchup, or mustard, so we always cut ours in half for better handling, but we don’t care, it tastes great and at least we can still enjoy that occasional burger while staying gluten free. You can also use this recipe for open faced sandwiches such as sloppy-joes, BBQ slow roast, or for making an English muffin or sandwich bread!
The recipe calls for buckwheat flour, I have gone through great lengths to soak, sprout and dry my own before I grind it in a coffee grinder, that is to remove as many anti-nutrients as possible and for better digestion. You do not have to do the same thing to get the same taste results, although it’s highly recommended for health. You can find instructions here. You could also use any other gluten free flour in it’s place.
On with the recipe…
This recipe makes 2 large or 4 small buns, multiply recipe as needed
1 free-range egg
½ Tbs. grass-fed butter, ghee, EV olive oil or coconut oil – melted
¼ tsp. unrefined salt, or to taste
¼ tsp. baking powder or (¼ tsp. baking soda + ¼ tsp. apple cider vinegar)
2 Tbs. arrowroot starch
1 Tbs. buckwheat flour or other gluten free flour
Simply place wet ingredients first into a small mixing bowl, then dry ingredients and whip them together. Once they are well combined, cook just as you would a pancake!
I love, love, love crepes, especially ones made of buckwheat since going gluten-free last year. Although I don’t crave bready foods anymore, if I want to enjoy a food that require a bready substance such as a burrito, I will use crepes in it’s place…I love breakfast burritos, not all the time, but on occasion. This bread has worked well in replacing pita bread, and the plus side is that it is so much easier to make!
Crepes are easy to make and fast with the right equipment. You don’t need a crepe maker, but it does help. All you need is a shallow cast iron pan (Lodge brand has them for about $15) , preferably. Or another non-stick pan that is not scratched (until you get a good pan). There are plenty of youtube videos that show how to cook crepes.
You can do all sorts of things with crepes:
Make it small size for a tortilla alternative
Pita bread alternative
Has issues with eggs? Here is my egg-free version– take a look to get more ideas on what else you can do with this batter (with or without eggs).
1 ¼ C buckwheat groats (raw, light green color) or buckwheat flour (not the black one)
1/2 tsp. unrefined salt
Additionally, you will need butter, ghee or coconut oil to grease pan
Wash buckwheat groats well, skip if using flour.
Blend all the ingredients except the eggs in a blender and leave on the counter to soak for 12-24 hours.
When they are done soaking, add the eggs to the batter and blend again to combine.
When you are ready, heat a shallow 7 inch (preferably cast iron) non-stick pan on medium heat, or a crepe maker and add about 1 tsp. butter or coconut oil. NOTE: depending on your pan, you will need to adjust heat accordingly.
Pour 1/4 Cup of the liquid batter in the pan and swirl around to make sure the whole pan is covered.
When it is dry ans starting to bubble, slide it around to make sure it will easily flip.
Flip carefully and cook on the other side until golden color.
The following jam recipe is super simple and delicious. I have been experimenting with gluten free biscuits and homemade jam is the perfect topping. I am also working on a gluten free homemade “pop-tart” or “cereal bar” type portable food for the kids. Keep an eye out 🙂
3 cups of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes or any other berries
½ – ¾ C raw local honey (use more or less depending on desired sweetness)
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. arrowroot starch (use only 1 Tbs. if using blueberries)
Place the berries in a sauce pan on medium heat and smash with the back of a fork or a potato masher.
Stir constantly and keep breaking up the berries to release the juices.
Once the juices are released, take note of the level of liquid. Keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick.
Take about ½ cup of the liquid out and set aside in a cup (this will be used to dissolve the arrowroot).
When the liquid has evaporated to half the amount, stir in the honey and lemon juice.
Using the ½ cup liquid, dissolve the arrowroot starch using a fork, and then add to pot.
Stir frequently until it starts to thicken. Then remove from heat.
Skim off any foam, and then scoop the jam into a sterilized jar of choice.
Store tightly covered in the fridge for a couple of weeks or you can use canning methods to store in a pantry for longer storage.
Original recipe for Paleo blueberry jam from Against All Grain (I added the arrowroot as a thickener).