Tip: Choose the lighter colored pie pumpkins or what they call sugar pumpkins, they are sweet and less watery than the orange ones you usually buy to carve..
Cut the top from the pumpkin and scrape out the stringy membranes and seeds.
Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and place in a roasting pan.
Pour ½ cup water into the bottom of the pan and cover with foil.
Bake 45-60 minutes or until pumpkin is soft and easily pierced with a fork.
Scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or blender and puree.
Leftover pumpkin puree may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 12 months.
Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Rinse seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings.
Place seeds in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and, if desired, sprinkle with your choice of no-salt seasonings.
Bake at 225 degrees F. until lightly toasted, about 45 minutes, checking and stirring frequently.
Sprinkle on salads, mix into healthy baked recipes or use as a topping for soups and entrees.
Cinnamon & Sea Salt Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
In a strainer, wash the seeds until all the guts are washed away. Let dry for 20 minutes over a paper towel to absorb excess water.
In a mixing bowl, toss seeds with coconut oil to coat. Spread evenly in a baking pan (use one with sides, like a brownie pan, to make stirring easier) and bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and toss with cinnamon, all spice and salt. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.
PLANTING, GROWING, AND HARVESTING PUMPKINS
Whether you use them for carving or cooking, pumpkins do not disappoint.
Note that pumpkins do require a lot of food and a long growing season (generally from 75 to 100 frost-free days) so you need to plant them by late May in northern locations to early July in extremely southern states.
Do not plant this tender vegetable until all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warmed, as the seedlings will be injured or rot. (See the Almanac.com/Gardening page for frost dates.)
That said, pumpkins are easy to maintain if you have the space.
Here’s how … Farmer’s Almanac