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- Sugar pumpkins (or pie pumpkins) are in season from September to November.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin:
- Cooked pumpkin is an excellent source of Vitamin A, which promotes good vision and healthy skin, teeth and bones.
- Pumpkins, especially the seeds, are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer-protective properties.
- Pumpkin and its seeds are a good source of fiber, helping to keep you full longer.
How to Select a Pumpkin:
- Sugar pumpkins are smaller than traditional carving pumpkins with a bright orange skin and thick flesh.
- Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that are heavy for their size.
- Avoid pumpkins with cracks or soft spots.
How to Store a Pumpkin:
- Store the pumpkin in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 1 month.
How to Prepare a Pumpkin:
- Scrub the outside of the pumpkin with a vegetable brush.
- Cut the stem off before slicing in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the fibers and seeds.
- Pumpkins can be peeled prior to cooking or after.
- For roasting, brush the inside with oil and place face down on a baking sheet. Roast at 350°F for 45-50 minutes.
Fun Facts About Pumpkin:
- The Irish brought this tradition of pumpkin carving to America. It started with carving turnips. When the Irish immigrated to the US, they found pumpkins a plenty, which were easier to carve.