Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

                                                             Happy Fall!!


We LOVE autumn!! The smells of cinnamon and apple, wet leaves, and bonfires! We decided to try some recipes this week using the quintessential fall fruit… the pumpkin! Did you know that pumpkin is highly nutritional and loaded with disease fighting properties!!  It is high in fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, and magnesium. In addition, pumpkin also contains alpha and beta carotenes which help your body use vitamin A as well as, decrease inflammation within the body and slow aging of the skin!

In keeping with the theme of trying new things this year, I decided to try the pumpkin butter I have seen for sale at so many orchards and specialty stores.  It was super easy to make, smelled amazing while cooking, and it is very yummy!  

The ingredients are:

1 can (29 oz) pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium/high heat and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to low/medium and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

This recipe yielded 2 ½ pints.  If this isn’t something you could use up right away or have a friend to share it with, you could store it in mason jars.  It is really easy to do and you don’t even need a canner.  To seal these jars they just need a water bath.  For a water bath first you wash and heat your jars and rings, either in a dishwasher or by boiling them in a pot on the stove.  Then take them out and set on a towel upside down to dry.  Once dry put the pumpkin butter into the jars, add the rings and new lids and close tightly. 

Then set the jars inside a large pot.  Cover them with water.  Bring the water to a boil and let boil for ten minutes.  Remove the jars from the water and sit them on the counter to cool.  Any store that sells canning supplies carries the tools you need to get your jars and rings out of the boiling water.  You will start to hear the jar lids pop.  Once they have popped, they have sealed.  You can press your finger in the middle of the lid to test the seal.  If they do not seal (which is rare) refrigerate and use over the next few weeks.  If they are sealed store them in a dry, dark place where the temperature stays the same.  

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