Depending on the type of pumpkin you got for your Halloween decor, you may be able to make an excellent pumpkin pie. However, pumpkins are not the only squash in season or in style during fall. Gourds and other squash are used as decor but may present their own unique problems when it comes to eating them.
Differences Between Gourds, Squash, and Pumpkin
Gourds are inedible squash bred for decoration. They last a while and come in beautiful green, white, yellow, and orange patterns. Squash is the family of plants that is home to pumpkins, gourds, zucchini, cucumber, and others.
Plan to Use Your Pumpkin for Baking Before Buying
If you decide to eat your decorative pumpkin, consider getting the smaller varieties. The small pumpkins are bred for eating and are the perfect size to fit in your oven. They are also more flavorful than the larger pumpkins. Big pumpkins, the kind that are the size of toddlers, are bred for decorations like jack-o-lanterns. They have large insides that make them great for carving. However, because of their larger size, the pumpkin is not as sweet as the small ones nor as nutritious. Generally, stores will be selling the larger, more decorative pumpkins outside and the smaller ones indoors.
Fun Baking Activities for Your Pumpkins
If you have kids home, consider getting the whole family involved with the pumpkin spectacle. Cleaning out the pumpkins are a fun, gross way to get in the spirit of Halloween and fall in general. Once you clean the pumpkins of their guts, wash off the pumpkin seeds. You can bake them with salt, pepper, cinnamon, or other seasonings and make a timely snack. The seeds of all your pumpkins will work for this. Smaller pumpkins designed for eating fit perfectly on a typical baking sheet when cut in half. Cook 2-3 pound sugar pumpkin (also called a pie pumpkin) at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Before baking it, brush the skin with oil and pierce the flesh to create ventilation. When it is complete, the skin will have darkened, and the pumpkin will have deflated some. Happy baking!
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