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eat well with fresh, local vegetables!
Pumpkins are members of the family cucurbitaceae which include the other vine crops; melons, cucumbers, and squash. They are native to the New World and have been cultivated by Native Americans for centuries. They are grown primarily for their use as jack-O-lanterns at Halloween and in pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving.
Pumpkins are actually a type of winter squash with a hard rind. Pie pumpkins are smaller, sweeter, and have more flesh than do the pumpkins that are grown for jack-O-lanterns that have relatively large seed cavities and thin walls.
Canned “pumpkin” pie filling is often a type of squash and not really pumpkin at all.
What to Look for When Purchasing
Select pumpkins that have been picked ripe and are free of soft spots.
Pumpkins will last several weeks if stored in a cool, dry place.
You may also process pumpkins by cooking and pureeing them and then storing them in air-tight containers in the freezer.
Pumpkins can be steamed, boiled, baked or sautéed. Cut the flesh into 1 ½ -2 inch pieces and steam or boil until tender. Pumpkins can also be steamed or baked in halves.
Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack. Rinse the seeds and blot dry. Add a few drops of cooking oil and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.
▸Add pumpkin puree to tomato sauces and serve over pasta
▸Sauté with onion, fresh ginger and drizzle with maple syrup