Turn the stringy guts of your Halloween pumpkin, into hearty, sweet, whole wheat pumpkin gut bread. You’ll never throw pumpkin guts away again!
We originally posted this pumpkin gut bread in 2009, and it is our most popular post every fall. I’m so excited to finally bring it up from the archives with new photos, a video, and some healthier ingredient options. But don’t worry, it is the same great recipe that has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media!
PUMPKIN GUT BREAD VIDEO
TOOLS FOR PUMPKIN GUT BREAD AND COOKING A WHOLE PUMPKIN
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PUMPKIN GUT BREAD AND HOW TO COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN
For some of you, this may be old news. But the rest of you, prepare to have your minds blown. Did you know that you can use every part of the pumpkin?
That’s right, even those Halloween pumpkins that you turn into jack o’lanterns have plenty of edible parts that typically get thrown away!
If you want to cook a whole pumpkin, start by cutting the pumpkin in half. I set it on its side and stab a large knife into it. I work the knife around through the side, then the base of the pumpkin and up the other side. Go back to the original side and work from the cut up to the stem. Pull the pumpkin apart into two halves.
COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN – SEEDS AND GUTS
Now you have two pumpkin parts to be scooped from inside the pumpkin: one is seeds, and the other is guts. That’s right pumpkin guts. I have to confess that I love playing with the pumpkin guts, they’re slimy and squishy and just feel good between my fingers. (Hmmm, maybe that’s where my sensory kiddo gets it) More on those guts later!
For the pumpkin seeds, you can roast them however your like. We love using pumpkin pie seasonings to make these pumpkin pie roasted pumpkin seeds.
Quick tip: whether you’re taking the pumpkin guts and seeds out of the top of a pumpkin you’re carving, or from a pumpkin you’ve cut in half to roast, it’s easiest to have two bowls and separate the seeds and guts into them as you go.
COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN- HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE
The third part of the pumpkin you can use is the flesh. This is the part that makes puree like you can buy in a can. Once you’ve scooped all the seeds and guts from the pumpkin halves, place the halves cut side down in a pan. If you have a smaller pumpkin you may be able to use one pan.
Pour some water 1/4 inch high in the pan (about 1 cup). Place the pans in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, and roast the pumpkin for 45-60 minutes (for a large pumpkin). It’s done when you can easily pierce the pumpkin with a fork.
Fresh pumpkin is much more fibrous then the highly processed pumpkin in a can, so you need to put it through a food processor before you can bake with it.
Simply puree the pumpkin until it’s smooth and liquidy without any chunks (is liquidy a word?).
You may notice that the pureed pumpkin flesh is pretty soupy. That’s because you still need to drain the excess water from your puree.
Just put a paper towel in a mesh strainer, and dump the puree in. Let it drain over a bowl in the fridge for a couple hours. Then you can use it in any recipe that uses canned pumpkin.
I like to freeze my homemade pumpkin puree in ziploc bags in one to two cup portions to make it easy to thaw the right amount (make sure you label it!).
Need some recipes to use your homemade pumpkin puree in? We love this pumpkin soup recipe. And if you’re looking for baking ideas, these whole wheat pumpkin muffins and oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are fantastic!
COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN- CUBED PUMPKIN
If you want to get chunks of pumpkin, rather than pumpkin puree, you can do that too.
Use your knife to carefully trim the peel off of the pumpkin. You could try a vegetable peeler, but I find that the skin is so tough that a knife is easier.
Once the pumpkin is all peeled, you can cut it into chunks and have fresh pumpkin to use in your favorite recipes. You can also sub it into any recipe that calls for squash like butternut or acorn.
We love this squash and sage brown butter pasta recipe.
COOK A WHOLE PUMPKIN – DINNER IN A PUMPKIN
Of course, you can also skip the peeling and chopping altogether, and simply cook your dinner inside your pumpkin. Then you just scrape the roasted pumpkin flesh out with the stuffing. It’s pretty easy and makes a gorgeous presentation.
We love the simplicity of this ground beef dinner in a pumpkin.
For now, here’s my famous pumpkin gut bread. I sometimes try to be healthier by cutting the sugar down to two cups, it’s still good, but it’s killer with all three cups. I call this bread famous because last year I brought it to several parties and everyone begged for the recipe, especially when they found out I made it with pumpkin guts. This is the world’s best pumpkin bread recipe!
THE BIRTH OF PUMPKIN GUT BREAD
Okay, time for the magical recipe you’ve all been waiting for!
In 2008, Eric and I were SUPER POOR ($100/month food budget poor), and I felt like throwing away the guts of our carving pumpkin was throwing away money. So I gathered pumpkin guts from all of our family that we carved pumpkins with, did some experimenting, and came up with an incredible pumpkin gut bread recipe.
Now I always ask people for their pumpkin guts, partly in an effort to reduce waste, and partly because I love making the bread!
PUMPKIN GUT BREAD RECIPE TIPS
You could totally use pumpkin puree in this recipe instead of the pumpkin guts. The fun thing with the pumpkin guts is that they are chunky and solid, so you get beautiful golden ribbons of pumpkin throughout the bread, rather than having it all incorporated into the batter.
Just make sure to chop your pumpkin guts up a bit. You don’t want gigantic chunks, or your bread will fall apart. I use a pair of kitchen shears, but you could also chop them with a knife.
While homemade pumpkin puree is typically sweeter and more flavorful from smaller sugar pumpkins, or pie pumpkins, you can use the guts from any pumpkin in pumpkin gut bread. Could you imagine how much bread you could make with the guts from the GIANT pumpkins?!
We love seeing your comments and pictures of your food. If you make this pumpkin gut bread, please share it with us! You can leave a comment below, and post a photo on our Facebook page.
PIN TO SAVE PUMPKIN GUT BREAD:
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or sub All-Purpose
- 3 cups sugar or sugar substitute like Swerve
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil we use avocado oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups of fresh pumpkin guts the stringy part separated from the seeds
- 1 cup chopped pecans optional
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9x5 loaf pans well, then dust with flour.
Use your fingers and a pair of scissors to separate the pumpkin guts, making sure they'll be able to mix into the batter.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda, and salt in large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, oil, water and pumpkin. Stir until you have a smooth batter.
If using pecans, you can mix the nuts in now, or sprinkle them on top once your pour you batter into the loaf pans.
Pour into prepared pans. Bake 1 hour, and check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, your loaves are done. If not, bake them longer, checking every 5 minutes.
Cool slightly in the pans (about 10 minutes) them take out of pans to let them cool on a rack.
Approximate cost/serving: This bread is pretty affordable, especially if you buy your flour and sugar in bulk like I do. Two loaves cost me around $2 to make, and I slice each one into 10 pieces. So it comes out to only 10 cents a slice!
Vegetarian: This does have eggs, but it's meatless!
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.