Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a pumpkin.jpgImpress your family and friends with afestive fall dinner— soup served in a pumpkin!


When I worked for Food $ense a few years ago we stumbled across what has become one of my favorite fall recipes , dinner in a pumpkin.  It is best to use a cooking pumpkin for these types of recipes.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 potatoes, 1″ cubes
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, 1/2″ slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 T beef bouillon granules
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pumpkin (10-12 lbs.)

Directions:

In a medium pan, brown ground beef, rinse and drain.  Add beef back to pan and add water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Stir in bouillon and add tomatoes

Wash pumpkin and cut an 8″ circle around the top stem.  Remove top and set aside.  Take out seeds and loose fibers from inside the pumpkin.  Place pumpkin in shallow pan.  Spoon beef mixture into pumpkin and replace stem.  Brush outside of pumpkin with olive oil.  Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender.  Serve by scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving.  


This article was written by Paige Wray, USU Extension Assistant Professor, San Juan County Family Consumer Sciences/4-H




Carve Your Pumpkin, Keep the Seeds!

pumpkin-seeds

Today we’re talking about pumpkin seeds— how to prepare them and different ways to use them. So as you get ready to carve pumpkins this year, don’t forget to save the seeds!


When you are carving that Halloween Jack-o’-lantern this year, here is one request I have for you, keep your seeds! Did you know that 1 oz of pumpkin seeds has around 5 grams of protein? Pumpkin seeds are an easy, cheap way to add a nutritious boost to your trail mix, baked goods and granola.

First and foremost, remove the pulp and seeds from the inside of your pumpkin. I like to put the seeds and pulp in a bowl of water while carving my pumpkin. This helps to pull away all the strings from the seeds. When you have only seeds left in your bowl, give them a good rinse. Move seeds to a new bowl and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and oil. Make sure to mix well.  Next you will want to spread them evenly over a large baking tray. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Make sure to check and stir the seeds frequently to avoid burning. Cool pumpkin seeds and then store them in an air-tight container.

When choosing a seasoning for your pumpkin seeds, think about what you plan to do with them. The outer part of the pumpkin seed can be removed (hulled) after they have been roasted. The inner part of the pumpkin seed is a green color and is a great addition to breads and muffins.

Check out these five ways to use pumpkin seeds below:

Traditional Roast

When using this method, try different spices to give your seeds some flair. Here are some combinations:

  • Cinnamon Toast Pumpkin Seeds: 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • Chili Pumpkin Seeds: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp tamari sauce, 2 tsp garlic powder, salt to taste, 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Spicy Pumpkin Seeds: ½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes, 2 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • Ginger Zest Pumpkin Seeds: 2 Tbsp ground ginger, 2 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp orange zest, 2 Tbsp melted butter or oil
  • Parmesan Pumpkin Seeds: ¼ c Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 2 Tbsp melted butter or oil.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This one was new to me, but has quickly turned into a favorite. Making a traditional pesto with pine nuts can be pricy, but not when you are using your pumpkin seeds! For this it is important to have hulled (green) pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients- 2 c. hulled pumpkin seeds, 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ tsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 c. fresh cilantro, and ¼ c. water. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Cover and chill until ready to use.

More Ideas

  • Add them to trail mix or granola. Do your granola or trail mix recipes call for nuts? Reduce the portion of nuts and add pumpkin seeds for the remaining portion.
  • Add them to baked goods or use in brittle. Instead of making a nut brittle this year, sub in hulled pumpkin seeds to make a new fall favorite.
  • Garnish soups, salads and desserts. Add a little extra crunch to any meal by topping your dish off with pumpkin seeds!

This article was written by Jaqueline Neid-Avila, Utah State University Extension nutrition faculty for Davis County. Comments or questions may be sent to jaqueline.neid-avila@usu.edu or call 801-451-3404. Republished from October 2016.




What Can I do With a Pumpkin?

what to do with pumpkin.jpg

Pumpkins can be more than a porch decoration. Read on to learn about their nutritional value, and for a delicious pumpkin soup recipe.


It is that time of year again. Autumn is here with cooler nights, falling leaves and pumpkins around the town.  In addition to being a welcome sign of fall, pumpkins are a welcome addition at the table.  The bright orange color is a dead giveaway that pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant and pro-vitamin to Vitamin A.  

Vitamin A is needed for healthy skin, strong bones, eye health and may reduce the risk of some cancers.  Let’s use these great vegetables for more than just pies.  They make tasty soups, breads, side dishes and additional desserts.  Pumpkin puree can become a great breakfast smoothie by adding yogurt, milk and some spice.  

 

This year, try roasting the pumpkin seeds instead of throwing them out. They are a great snack and are rich in fiber and vitamins B and E.  Kids especially love them.  Try washing the seeds and patting them dry.  Soak them in soy sauce, butter or Worcestershire sauce for about an hour.  Then spread on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoning salts, Italian spices or even a Cajun seasoning.  Roast at 250 degrees for about 1 hour.  Turn seeds throughout the roasting time and enjoy the crunchy bite when they are done.

 

While the seeds are roasting, take a little time with the family and enjoy a book about pumpkins.  Enjoy reading, Pumpkin Circle: The story of a Garden by George Levelson.  

 

This season, visit a pumpkin patch with your family and bring home a pumpkin. This may become an activity to remember or even a new fall tradition!

 

You might like using pumpkins to dot your outdoor pathway on Halloween. It is recommended that you use battery-powered or plug in jack-o-lanterns instead of a live candle.  If you do use a live flame, be sure it will be away from trick or treaters and in a secure place.  Make sure the pathway to your door is safe with no objects in the way of a child.  Keep your home well-lit and inviting, and put all pets away for the evening.

 

The bright colors of pumpkins can be added to a beautiful decoration, used as a centerpiece or can stand alone.  Pumpkins are inexpensive, nutritious, colorful and a sure sign that autumn has arrived.  Be creative and find new ways to use a pumpkin in your home. Try this soup recipe or visit USU Extension for additional pumpkin recipes.

 

Easy Pumpkin Soup

(source: verybestbaking.com-Libby’s Pumpkin)

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2 cups milk or half and half
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 3 cups seasoned croutons

Cut the lid from the pumpkin, remove seeds and fibers.  Alternate layers of croutons and cheese in pumpkin.  Add chicken broth and milk.  Bake for about 2 hours at 350 degrees.  To serve, stir the contents and create a thick soup.  Enjoy.


This article was written by Carolyn Washburn, retired Utah State University Extension associate professor




Savory Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

Pumpkin RecipesOctober is in full swing, and that means pumpkin is everywhere! Don’t reserve pumpkin just for your baked goods and sweet treats, try these savory pumpkin recipes to get a taste of fall.


Pumpkin is low in calories. One-half cup of mashed pumpkin (without salt) has 24 calories, 0 grams (g) fat, 1 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 1 milligram sodium. Pumpkins are packed with nutrients, such as fiber and beta carotene. Our bodies use beta carotene to produce vitamin A. Pumpkins are also rich in potassium.

You can steam it, bake it, boil it, microwave it (if you put slits in it), and pressure cook it. Once cooked it can be mashed, pureed, cubed and stored in either the fridge or freezer in air tight containers. Mashed or pureed pumpkin (either fresh or canned) has many options for its use. Here are just a few: Muffins, biscuits, and quick breads with part whole wheat flour; soups, added to the sauce in mac and cheese; added to chili; make a smoothie; cheese balls; and add to hummus. Cubed and cooked pumpkin can be used with pasta, risotto, soups, salads, and casseroles.

Pumpkin Chili

(From Taste of Home)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and
    drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the next 10 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours. If desired, cube avocado and thinly
slice green onions, and top when serving.

Yield: 10 servings

Quick and Easy Creamy Pumpkin Soup

(From NDSU Extension Service)

  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly, tops included
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth, reduced sodium or
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 (16-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup undiluted, evaporated skim milk
  • Salt* and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley

In a 6-quart saucepan, sauté onions, green onions, celery and chili pepper in oil. Cook until onions begin to look translucent. Add broth, pumpkin, bay leaf,
and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Add evaporated milk and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Do not boil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2
teaspoon black pepper, if desired. Transfer hot soup to pumpkin tureen. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve hot.

*Canned chicken broth and canned pumpkin may contain added salt. Taste the finished soup before adding salt, as additional salt may not be needed.


This article was written by Teresa C. Hunsaker, USU Extension, Weber County, Family and Consumer Sciences Education




Fall Bucket List

fall-bucket-list


Cooler temperatures and colorful leaves are on their way. We’re welcoming fall with more than 50 fall things to do around Utah. Pick and choose your favorites to create your own custom fall bucket list. 


The weather is starting to cool off, the leaves are changing and there is so much fun to be had.  Utah is full of great experiences, whether you want to spend time out in the crisp fall air or stay home working on simple projects.  Whatever mood you are, in it is nice to have a list of exciting ideas to choose from, and we have more than 50 suggestions for you to build your own fall bucket list.

Outdoors

  • Drive the Alpine Loop or other local canyons to see the leaves
  • Explore a corn maze
  • Visit the local farmer’s market
  • Go on a hike to see the fall colors
  • Go camping in the colors
  • Go apple, pumpkin, squash, pepper or tomato picking at a local “pick your own” farm
  • Go pick your own pumpkin from a pumpkin patch
  • Practice recreational shooting
  • Go hunting
  • Go Trick-or-Treating
  • Tell scary stories around a campfire
  • Go on a hay ride
  • Join in a family and friend turkey bowl football game

Entertainment

Home

  • Do fall cleaning
  • Decorate the house
  • Host a football watching party
  • Host a Halloween party
  • Gather family for Thanksgiving dinner
  • Rake up and play in the autumn leaves
  • Clean out garden beds to prepare for next year
  • Plant spring bulbs
  • Plant a tree — Autumn is a great time to plant a tree, but be sure to water well if it is a dry autumn.

Food

  • Do a chili cook-off
  • Make apple cider
  • Harvest fall produce and preserve it by freezing, drying or canning (jams, jellies, whole fruit, etc.)
  • Throw a homemade doughnut party – invite friends and family over for fun and doughnuts everyone can enjoy. Try them  baked or fried.
  • Make caramel apples
  • Try a new recipe for Thanksgiving (pie, stuffing, etc.)
  • Throw a party where everyone brings a different kind of pie
  • Host a crock pot party
  • Try a new homemade soup, like  Apple & Butternut Squash Soup (page 7) to help keep you warm as the days get colder.

Crafts

  • Pumpkin carving – A tradition that never gets old. Find your favorite printable template or draw freehand to make your pumpkin carving creation.
  • Decorate/paint pumpkins to look like a favorite book character – Painting and decorating pumpkins is just as fun. They also last longer without wilting.
  • Boo” ding dong ditch the neighbors – Leave a bag of goodies on someone’s front porch and run away – once you have been “boo-ed” you hang an image of a ghost near your front door so others know you have been “boo-ed.”
  • Start a fall gratitude journal
  • Create a new autumn decoration
  • Make a new Halloween costume
  • Sew homemade hand warmers

Books 

This is a way to transport yourself and your little ones into another world of fun, adventure and fantasy. Cuddle up with a blanket and enjoy some of these favorites this autumn.

  • Scary chapter books:
    • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
    • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    • Doll Bones by Holly Black
  • Halloween picture books:
    • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
    • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
    • Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michal Rex
    • Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson
    • Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
    • In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
    • The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey
    • Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
    • Frankenstein by Rick Walton and Nathan Hale
    • Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson and Samuel Thaler
    • A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee and Harry Bliss
    • One Witch by Laura Leuck

    • Curious George Goes to a Costume Party by Margaret Rey
    • Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz
  • Thanksgiving picture books:
    • ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
    • Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
    • The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
    • A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman and Jeff Shelly

 


This article was written by Kirsten Lamplugh, Intern at the Salt Lake County USU Extension office, BS in Family and Consumer Sciences 




Carve Your Pumpkin // Keep the Seeds

pumpkin-seeds

This month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite pumpkin recipes. Today we’re talking about pumpkin seeds— how to prepare them and different ways to use them. So as you get ready to carve pumpkins this year, don’t forget to save the seeds!


When you are carving that Halloween Jack-o’-lantern this year, here is one request I have for you, keep your seeds! Did you know that 1 oz of pumpkin seeds has around 5 grams of protein? Pumpkin seeds are an easy, cheap way to add a nutritious boost to your trail mix, baked goods and granola.

First and foremost, remove the pulp and seeds from the inside of your pumpkin. I like to put the seeds and pulp in a bowl of water while carving my pumpkin. This helps to pull away all the strings from the seeds. When you have only seeds left in your bowl, give them a good rinse. Move seeds to a new bowl and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and oil. Make sure to mix well.  Next you will want to spread them evenly over a large baking tray. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Make sure to check and stir the seeds frequently to avoid burning. Cool pumpkin seeds and then store them in an air-tight container.

When choosing a seasoning for your pumpkin seeds, think about what you plan to do with them. The outer part of the pumpkin seed can be removed (hulled) after they have been roasted. The inner part of the pumpkin seed is a green color and is a great addition to breads and muffins.

Check out these five ways to use pumpkin seeds below:

Traditional Roast

When using this method, try different spices to give your seeds some flair. Here are some combinations:

  • Cinnamon Toast Pumpkin Seeds: 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • Chili Pumpkin Seeds: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp tamari sauce, 2 tsp garlic powder, salt to taste, 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Spicy Pumpkin Seeds: ½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes, 2 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • Ginger Zest Pumpkin Seeds: 2 Tbsp ground ginger, 2 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp orange zest, 2 Tbsp melted butter or oil
  • Parmesan Pumpkin Seeds: ¼ c Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 2 Tbsp melted butter or oil.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This one was new to me, but has quickly turned into a favorite. Making a traditional pesto with pine nuts can be pricy, but not when you are using your pumpkin seeds! For this it is important to have hulled (green) pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients- 2 c. hulled pumpkin seeds, 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ tsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 c. fresh cilantro, and ¼ c. water. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Cover and chill until ready to use.

More Ideas

  • Add them to trail mix or granola. Do your granola or trail mix recipes call for nuts? Reduce the portion of nuts and add pumpkin seeds for the remaining portion.
  • Add them to baked goods or use in brittle. Instead of making a nut brittle this year, sub in hulled pumpkin seeds to make a new fall favorite.
  • Garnish soups, salads and desserts. Add a little extra crunch to any meal by topping your dish off with pumpkin seeds!

This article was written by Jaqueline Neid-Avila, Utah State University Extension nutrition faculty for Davis County. Comments or questions may be sent to jaqueline.neid-avila@usu.edu or call 801-451-3404.




Squash Pasta Sauce

squash-pasta-sacue-2

This month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite pumpkin recipes. Today’s recipe technically calls for butternut squash, cousin to everyone’s favorite orange pumpkin. You can go with butternut squash, or get festive and substitute pumpkin. Look for small pie pumpkins for the best flavor and texture.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (substitute pumpkin, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 small celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups milk
  • Spices of choice
  • Fresh herbs
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. pasta of choice

Directions

Boil squash in salted, boiling water until tender, roughly 15 minutes. While squash is cooking, sauté onion in oil for 2-3 minutes, or until onion begins to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add carrot and celery and cover pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Next add in cooked and drained squash and tomato paste. Stir to combine, and remove from heat. Add ingredients to a blender along with milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season as desired and serve over pasta of your choice with a generous topping of Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

 


Recipe adapted from Eat Well Utah.




Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

pumpkin-zucchini-bread


This month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite pumpkin recipes. Today we have pumpkin zucchini bread. This delicious quick bread will fill your home with a wonderful aroma, and is a great way to sneak in a few extra servings of vegetables.


 

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

 

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter, yogurt and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined (batter will be lumpy). Stir in zucchini, nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.




Pumpkins // More Than Just Jack-o-lanterns

pumpkins-graphic


It’s pumpkin season! We’ve got all you need to know about preserving your favorite orange squash, from drying to canning. 


Pumpkins are just about everywhere this time of year. As you harvest or purchase pumpkins for carving, be sure to save the seeds for later. Also, if you have an extra pumpkin or have orange squash from your garden, keep in mind that it can be preserved and used in future recipes. Here are some great tips and guidelines from the National Center for Home Food Preservation to make the most of this year’s pumpkin season.

Dried Pumpkin Seeds

Carefully wash pumpkin seeds to remove the clinging fibrous pumpkin tissue. Pumpkin seeds can be dried in the sun, in an electric dehydrator at 115-120 F for 1 to 2 hours or in an oven on a very low, warm temperature only, for 3 to 4 hours. Stir frequently to avoid scorching. Dried seeds should not be stored with any moisture left in them.

Dried Pumpkin and Pumpkin Leather

Wash, peel and remove fibers and seeds from pumpkin (or Hubbard squash) flesh. Cut into small, thin strips no more than 1-inch wide by 1/8-inch thick. Blanch strips over steam for 3 minutes and dip briefly in cold water to stop the blanching action.  There is no need to cool to room temperature prior to drying. Drain excess moisture. Dry the strips in an electric dehydrator until brittle.

Pumpkin also makes excellent dried vegetable leather. Purée cooked pumpkin and strain. Add honey and spices, then dry on a home food dehydrator tray. Read more here.

Freezing Pumpkin

Freezing is the easiest way to preserve pumpkin, and it yields the best quality product. Select full-colored mature pumpkin with fine texture (not stringy or dry). Wash, cut into cooking-size sections and remove seeds. Cook until soft in boiling water, in steam, in a pressure cooker or in an oven. Remove pulp from rind and mash. To cool, place pan containing pumpkin in cold water and stir occasionally. Pack into rigid containers leaving headspace and freeze.

Canning Pumpkin

Only pressure canning methods are recommended for canning cubed pumpkin. We have no properly researched directions to recommend for canning mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash, pumpkin butter or any other pumpkin preserves (jams, jellies, etc.). To be safe, all low-acid foods, including pumpkin, must be canned using tested pressure canning processes. Older methods, such as boiling water canning for vegetables, oven canning and open-kettle canning, have been discredited and can be hazardous. Small-size pumpkins (sugar or pie varieties) make better products. Specific instructions for canning may be found here.

The USDA and Cooperative Extension currently do not have any tested recipes to recommend for safely canning pumpkin preserves (jams, jellies, conserves or pumpkin butter) and storing them at room temperature.  These pumpkin products must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and treated the same as fresh pumpkin.         

Think Safety

Think safety when preserving pumpkins. Pumpkin is a low-acid vegetable and requires special attention during preparation and processing. Use careful sanitation when handling fresh or preserved pumpkin. Do not let cut pumpkin sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours during preparation prior to preserving.


This article was written by Kathleen Riggs, Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences professor for Iron County. Comments or questions may be sent to kathleen.riggs@usu.edu or call 435-586-8132.

Source: http://nchfp.uga.edu/tips/fall/pumpkins.html




How to Cook a Pumpkin!

pumpkin blog

Not sure how to cook a pumpkin? Now you can learn how!


Yummy Pumpkins

It’s no secret around my house…when the summer air turns crisp and autumn leaves are falling I crave dinner in a pumpkin!

It must trigger memories of my childhood, Cinderella- watching days. I can still see her garden pumpkin turn into a beautiful golden carriage with the flip of the fairy godmother’s wand. So I got to thinking, without a fairy godmother of your own, cutting into that golden orb for the first time may seem a little daunting! Here are my tips and tricks for selecting, preparing and cooking pumpkin.

-Eating: Due to their tough outer skin, pumpkins are cooked and only the inside flesh is eaten. Pumpkins are most commonly used to make bread, cookies, pies, pumpkin butter, custard, and soup.

– Selecting: Select pumpkins that are firm and heavy for their size. Round pumpkins tend to be lighter and less meaty than oblong pumpkins.

– Cleaning and Preparing: Clean the pumpkin when you are ready to use it. Rinse with cold running water. If the pumpkin has been waxed, scrub it well.

– Storing: Store pumpkins in a cool, dark place. They have a 2 to 3 month average storage time.

– Cooking:
To make pumpkin puree, cut a medium (about 6 pound) fresh pumpkin into 5-inch square pieces.

Remove the seeds and fibrous strings.

Arrange the pieces in a single layer, skin side up, in a large, shallow baking pan.

Cover with foil. Bake at 375o F for 1 to 1- 1/2 hours or until tender.

Scoop the pulp from the rind. Place part of the pulp in a blender container or food processor bowl.

Cover and blend or process until smooth.

Transfer the pumpkin into a strainer lined with cheesecloth or overlapping, large coffee filters.

Set over a large bowl and press out any liquid.

Cover the surface of the puree with plastic wrap and let it drain, chill overnight.

If you have a favorite pumpkin recipe or tip, please share it in the comments!


This article was written by Amanda Christensen, Extension Assistant Professor for Utah State University