Pumpkins! Nothing says fall like pulling those pumpkins off the vine and adding them to our pantry. My son has taken a special interest in the life cycle of “his” pumpkins. He planted them as seeds this spring, watched them grow, patiently waited and waited and waited for them to turn orange so he could pick them.
Enzi woke up early the other day and asked to make pumpkin bread. So we went to the pantry and picked out a pumpkin and started cooking! Baking has quickly become one of my favorite ways with my kids to connect what we grow to what we eat. They LOVE taste testing and baking from our own garden sourced foods is a fun garden-kid connection.
First Enzi helped me to “slice up da bumpkin” and “pull out da guts”. I showed him how to save some seeds to plant in the garden again next spring. Then I cut it into large wedges while he counted how many slices we had. Next he helped me “make the bumpkin slices warm and cozy” by covering them with tin foil to roast.
We read his favorite train stories while the pumpkin cooked, then came the fun! We scooped out the cooked pumpkin and loaded up our blender and Zi had fun pushing the button to blend everything into a puree.
The pumpkin peels we put in a bowl with the guts and seeds and brought out to the chickens. While visiting the chickens we checked the nesting boxes and collected the eggs we would need for the recipe. Typically I wait until we need the eggs to eat or bake with before collecting them so that the kids can see/feel/experience the connection between the garden/animals and what we eat.
When we got back to the kitchen we washed our hands and the eggs and then pulled two cups of the freshly pureed pumpkin out of the blender to bake our favorite pumpkin bread. The remaining pumpkin puree was measured and scooped into quart freezer storage bags for future use. (I store two cups per bag as thats what most recipes call for.)
Then we measured and mixed up our favorite pumpkin bread, baked and enjoyed it for breakfast with the rest of the family. Here is the pumpkin bread recipe that we love and use for our family:
Yummy Pumpkin Bread
- 2 cups Pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup oil
- 2/3 cups water
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon (or two drops cinnamon essential oil)
- 1 tsp nutmeg (or two drops nutmeg essential oil)
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves (or one drop clove essential oil)
- 1/4 tsp ginger (or one drop ginger essential oil)
- 1 cup raisins or walnuts (or both) optional
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix your oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add water and pumpkin puree, mix well. Then Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Add your spices or essential oils and mix. Then spoon into mini-muffin tins or into bread loaf pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. This makes 3 loaves or three dozen muffins. It freezes well to enjoy another day without the kitchen mess. Happy baking with your little one!