How To Cook Every Part Of A Pumpkin

How To Cook Every Part Of A Pumpkin

Pumpkin carving season may be over, but the arrival of fall and winter squash has only just begun. Many people use interesting-looking squash for fall decorations, but then they discard them! What if you could enjoy every single part of the pumpkin or squash? Well, you can, and you no longer have to waste these precious fall produce items. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Americans throw away about 30-40% of the food supply every year. Food waste ends up in landfills, creating the harmful greenhouse gas methane. Not only does this accelerate climate change, but it also is a driving force behind freshwater pollution. Pumpkins are the perfect example of food waste, given that people carve and discard or decorate and then trash. 

The truth of the matter is that pumpkins, the festive squash that they are, can be quite versatile. You can make pumpkin stews, soups, pies, and more, all the while reaping some impressive nutritional benefits. Pumpkins are excellent sources of fiber, beta-carotene, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, zinc, and more. Below, you’ll find several different ways to cook with pumpkin.

Roasted Pumpkin Cubes:

Pumpkin has a naturally sweet and robust flavor, and roasting cubes creates beautiful caramelization. You can be very simplistic with your seasoning, but pumpkins do welcome herbs and spices with open arms. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole sugar pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea saltInstructions:

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 425º F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 
  • Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the strings and seeds. Reserve the seeds for the next recipe. 
  • Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel and then chop the pumpkin halves into cubes. 
  • Spread the pumpkin cubes on the baking sheet in a single layer and season with olive oil and sea salt, or spices that you enjoy.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, remove from the oven, stir, and then return to the oven to bake for about 15-20 more minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven when cubes are easily pierced with a fork. 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

With a diverse nutritional profile, pumpkin seeds are a great healthy snack option to satiate you between meals. You can season them simply or get creative, tossing them in coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, and onion powder before roasting.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Before you do anything, you have to thoroughly clean the pumpkin seeds, removing all orange strings. Dry the seeds completely, preferably overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 425º F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • Place the seeds on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Toss to combine and then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the seeds to cool completely. Store in an airtight container and eat within a week.

Roasted Pumpkin Halves:

A classic and easy preparation, roasted pumpkin halves is a great entry point to cooking pumpkins. You can season each half how you please, depending on the recipe you want to make. If you want to puree the pumpkin for pie or soup, this is the perfect cooking method.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole sugar pumpkin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Spices of your choosing

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400º F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and strings. Once again, reserve the seeds for roasting.
  • Brush the flesh of each pumpkin half with olive oil and season with your desired spices. 
  • Pierce the skin of each pumpkin half with a knife in a few places. 
  • Place each half on the baking sheet and bake until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork (about 35-45 minutes). 
  • Let the pumpkin cool thoroughly before handling. 

2022-01-11T03:29:45-07:00

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