Below is the base to any pumpkin recipes (such as the gluten-free pumpkin pie I plan on posting later this week), a pumpkin puree. Now, if you're in a rush or don't want to make this from scratch, its easy to find pumpkin-in-a-can. However, I love the taste and texture of fresh pumpkin (and toasted pumpkin seeds!) so I really recommend making your own, I'll show you how super easy it is.
1. The key to any homemade pumpkin puree is to use a type of pumpkin called pie pumpkins. They're the smaller variety that's about 6-7 inches wide. Pie pumpkins are better for this than the traditional, jack-o-lantern pumpkins because of their texture (pie pumpkins don't have the stringy texture that larger pumpkins do)
2. Use a serrated blade in order to slice the pumpkin open. For the initial cut you'll want to use a sawing motion just to the side of the pumpkin stem.
3. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to scoop our the seeds and guts of the pumpkin. You'll want to scrap the scoop on the insides of the pumpkin to remove all of the stringy pieces from the inside.
4. Using either a vegetable steamer, steamer basket, or a shallow dish filled with some water, steam the pumpkin pieces until done. This should take approximately 10-15 minutes. To verify when the pumpkin is ready, use a fork to test if the pumpkin flesh is tender.
5. Peel the pumpkin skin off of the flesh with either your hands or a fork (this should be a fairly easy task once the pumpkin is cooked). Drain off any left over water.
6. Use an immersion blender, or a regular blender to blend the pumpkin into a puree. Use in you favorite pumpkin recipes!