Preparing pumpkin pies with your kids

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than fresh pumpkin pie. Get your kids in the kitchen and let them help by pureeing fresh pumpkin for pies.

Kids can help you prepare homemade pumpkin pies this holiday season.

Kids can help you prepare homemade pumpkin pies this holiday season.

As a kid, I never wanted to try pumpkin pie. It was kind of mushy, brown and not very pretty – certainly not pretty like the apple and raspberry pies, with their bright colors and basket weave crusts dusted with sugar. Having kids prepare pumpkin pie might be the key to getting them to try it. I am betting they will even like it. Pureeing pumpkin is simple and kids have a great time helping to prepare your holiday feast.

If you have grown your own pie pumpkins, you will really have a homegrown pie. If not, you will need to purchase a 1.5-2 pound pie pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half and have kids scoop out all the “guts.” Save the seeds to roast.

I like to coat the cut edge of the pumpkin with olive oil. Place the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour at 350 degrees. When you can easily stick a fork into the pumpkin flesh, it is done. Take out of the oven to cool.

Once the pumpkin has cooled, kids can peel off the skin and cut the soft flesh into pieces. Now the real fun begins. Kids can puree the pieces in a food processor, blender, with an old fashion potato masher or an immersion blender – my kid’s favorite way. Once the pumpkin is nice and smooth, it is ready to be pied.

Use your favorite recipe, substitute the fresh pumpkin for canned, or use this recipe for fresh pumpkin pie.

Here are some fun pumpkin facts you can share with your kiddos while they are making the pumpkin puree and pie:

  • Pumpkins are not a vegetable, they are actually a fruit.
  • Botanically speaking, pumpkins are berries.
  • Berries are all fruit that have seeds imbedded in the flesh.
  • Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumbers, melons, squash, gourds and all varieties of pumpkins.
  • Pumpkins are believed to have originated in the Americas.
  • Pumpkins were grown by ancient Native Americans.
  • Native Americans introduced pumpkins to the pilgrims, who liked their sweet flavor.
  • Pumpkin pie is a great source of fiber and one slice contains 91 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.

When the pie is out of the oven, the kids will be anxious to taste their creation topped with fresh whipped cream!

Bon appetite, and have a great Thanksgiving!