Pumpkins... A sign of fall and harvest. Pumpkins are a plant from the gourd family. The thick shell contains seeds and pulp and the bright orange color is a perfect way to splash more color in this season of changing hues. How can you use pumpkins this fall?
1. Decorating. Consider varying hues of pumpkins, other gourds, and mums along with corn husks and hay bales to create an attractive arrangement to welcome guests to your home.
2. Carving. What would Halloween be without carved pumpkins? Choose a pumpkin with an intact stem and relatively flat bottom to avoid rolling. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and sketch your carving pattern on the outside before you start carving a design. And consider illuminating your pumpkin with a battery-operated votive instead of a candle.
3. Seeds. Pumpkin seeds have valuable nutrients and fiber. When roasted, they are a perfect fall snack! Experiment with different recipes and let us know your favorite.
4. Baking. Pumpkin pie is a traditional way to eat the pulp of a pumpkin, but you can also try pumpkin cookies, muffins, and scones. Be sure to select a baking pumpkin, like a sugar pumpkin, for your favorite pumpkin-related baked goods. These pumpkins are usually smaller and have smooth skin.
5. Pumpkin soup. As days and nights get cooler, pumpkin soup can hit the spot and be a yummy and healthy meal option. For both baking and soup, make up several batches of a puree (which you can make ahead and freeze). To make puree, cut your sugar pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp and cover each half with foil. Bake at 325, foil side up, for an hour or until tender. Scrape meat from shell halves and puree in blender. (Source: Allrecipes.com)