Pumpkins, a cousin to the winter squash, are round with a smooth, ribbed skin. Orange pumpkins range in size and shape from quite small to very large and round to flat. They have thick stems, hard shells and vibrant orange skin that can be smooth, bumpy or ridged, and thick, edible flesh. They tend to have a mild and sweet flavor, although carving varieties can be somewhat bland and stringy. Some can be bitter and less enjoyable to eat on their own, which is probably why we started baking them in pies and why we've historically seasoned them with dessert spices. Cooking a pumpkin involves cleaning, cutting, and baking – after scrubbing the outside of the pumpkin with a vegetable brush, cut off the stem and then cut the pumpkin in half from stem to bottom. Clean out the fibers and seeds with a serrated spoon or scoop. Cut into pieces and lay skin-side down in a baking dish with a layer of water. Bake at 325 for about an hour or until pumpkin is fork tender. Pumpkins can be used in soups, pies, salads or even as a pizza topping.
Great for Fall baking
Low in saturated fat
Low in cholesterol
Good source of Vitamins A, C, E
Includes one pumpkin