With summer coming to an end soon, pumpkins and winter squashes are starting to pop up at the local grocery stores. For lovers of the fall season, there’s nothing better than the arrival of the beautiful, colorful, plump pumpkins and winter squashes.
It’s such a shame these wonderful treats often only find their way to the dinner table in the form of a store-bought pie. There is so much more you can do with these ornamental beauties! This year, instead of just using them for decoration, try eating them also!
Common Edible Varieties
- Pumpkins (Fairytale and Cinderella varieties are good for eating)
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Delicate/Sweet Potato Squash
- Kabocha Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
Slice and Bake
After you’ve chosen your favorite from our list, slice it up into halves or quarters. Scoop out the seeds and place the pumpkin or squash pieces face down in a baking pan filled with ½ inch of water. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour at 400-450 degrees (depending on the size). You will know when it’s done as the flesh will be soft when you poke it with a fork.
Sprinkle your freshly baked pumpkin or squash with brown sugar and butter then enjoy! Another fun way to eat them is to stuff the freshly baked slices with brown or wild rice.
Keep the Seeds
Don’t throw away the seeds! Put them in a strainer to rinse off the slime and pulp, and then brush them with oil and salt and bake for about 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Both pumpkin and squash seeds can be prepared this way, and make a quick and easy snack.
They Are Healthy, Too!
Pumpkins and winter squashes are full of alpha and beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamins E and C, pantothenic acid and fiber. The seeds are little gems full of zinc, magnesium, iron, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, potassium and vitamin E.
Share a recipe and tell us how you plan to enjoy pumpkins and winter squashes this fall.