Homemade Pumpkin Puree: How to Use Your Leftover Halloween Pumpkins for Your Dog



For those of you staring at your Halloween pumpkins each year as they begin to turn brown on your porch - fear no more. What if I told you that there was a way better use of your creations after Halloween? I'm here to tell you to stop tossing those babies out! Let's make Homemade Pumpkin Puree instead.


Why Pumpkin Puree is a Safe Additive for Dogs:

  1. Pumpkin is fiber rich, and is packed with vitamin A (essential for eye health) and vitamin E (which has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes heart health).

  2. Pumpkin is a great low-calorie option (roughly 3 calories per TBSP, which in many cases is more than enough pumpkin for a larger sized dog).

  3. When used in moderation, it can be a wonderful natural digestive aid.

  4. For more information on the benefits of pumpkin for dogs, check out HomesAlivePets post on pumpkin here.


Now, let's get to it!



All you'll need:

  • One plain, de-seeded Halloween Pumpkin ("Carving Pumpkin" as labeled in the store)

  • 1 cup of water or bone broth



I make my Pumpkin Puree in the Instant Pot (I find it cuts down the cooking time quite a bit). However, you can also create Pumpkin Puree by roasting your pumpkin in the oven. I've included the How-To steps for oven preparation below as well.


How-To (Instant Pot):


1. Quarter your pumpkin into pieces so that it fits within your Instant Pot. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you may need to do multiple batches.


2. Add a cup of water or bone broth into the Instant Pot with your quartered pumpkin. Place the Instant Pot on HIGH PRESSURE for 17-20 minutes (depending on the size of your pumpkin).


3. After the Pressure Cycle is complete, do a quick release on your Instant Pot. When safe to open the lid, your pumpkin should look like this:



4. Easily peel away the pumpkin skin and discard*. Your pumpkin should be extremely soft and easy to mix together. If you'd like a smoother consistency, throw the contents in a blender and pulse until smooth.

* Tip: Waiting for your pumpkin to cool makes this task much easier (save your fingers!).


5. Voila! Cool and serve. Place extra portions in airtight containers for storage in the freezer or fridge.


Fridge storage: Roughly 4 weeks.

Freezer storage: Roughly 6-12 months.


How-To (Oven):

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Cut your pumpkin in half or in quarters (depending on the size of your pumpkin) and coat the shell in coconut oil.

  3. Place the pumpkin pieces skin side up on a baking sheet.

  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes in the oven (a good way to tell if your pumpkin is ready: A fork should be able to easily pierce the pumpkin's skin).

  5. After baking, remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool. Remove skin and mash. If you desire a smoother consistency, pulse in a blender or food processor for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

  6. Cool and serve! Place extra portions in airtight containers for storage in the fridge or freezer.

Fridge storage: Roughly 4 weeks.

Freezer storage: Roughly 6-12 months.



Now that you've got your pumpkin puree ready to go, you're ready to use it in some enrichment toys! Check out how you can use your ready-to-go pumpkin puree in some Kong Stuffing Hacks.


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