Pumpkin: Food of the Week

By: Whole Foods Market®

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It’s time to appreciate pumpkin beyond those famous lattes.

WHY PUMPKINS?

These sweet, bright-orange squashes are more versatile than you may imagine. Dice and steam them for a side vegetable, feature them in pot pies, soufflés, salads, soups and casseroles, or make cakes, breads, muffins and of course, pumpkin pie. Besides adding a sweet nutty flavor to dishes, a serving of raw pumpkin (85g) is high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C.

SELECTING & STORING

When choosing fresh pumpkins for cooking, avoid the large carving varieties, which are thin-walled, stringy and lack rich flavor. Cooking varieties such as sugar pumpkins (also called pie pumpkins) are small but heavy for their size, about 5 to 7 pounds. Shape is not important. As a rule of thumb, for each pound of raw, untrimmed pumpkin, you’ll get approximately one cup of purée.

Store pumpkins up to one month in a cool, dry place. The flesh tends to become stringy at temperatures above 60°F. And, if you can spare the space, they may also be refrigerated for up to one month.

PREPARATION

While canned pumpkin purée is an easy shortcut, you may want to try roasting a pumpkin to make a homemade version using this Easiest Whole Roasted Winter Squash recipe.

3 WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF PUMPKIN

  1. Blended. This healthful Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe combines pumpkin purée, banana and non-dairy beverage.
  2. Simmered. In Turkey Pumpkin Chili ground turkey, pumpkin, beans, veggies and spices come together for a hearty cool-weather meal.
  3. Baked. Flourless Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies are dense like a fudgy brownie and rich with creamy peanut butter. Or make Pumpkin and Millet Muffins.

And don’t toss those seeds! Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are a tasty addition in casseroles, salads, soups, breads and granola. Their rich, peanut-like flavor makes them an addictive game-day snack too.

For healthy eating tips, hundreds of recipes, cooking techniques, meal plans and more, visit Whole Foods Market’s Healthy Eating resources.