Pumpkins herald the fall season with their distinct bright colors and shapes. They go hand-in-hand with the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays and begin popping up on porches the minute October arrives. Fields of pumpkins can be seen along the roads, where u-pick farms can be found.

Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years, indigenous to the western hemisphere. They are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini.

Whether large or small, pumpkins come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and even colors. For instance, the cheese pumpkin is a lovely shade of soft peach; the bright orange sugar pie pumpkin is used for cooking and carving, and runs about 2 to 5 pounds; the Cinderella pumpkin is a deep red/orange and has a semi-flat round shape; and the Chinese pumpkin (kabocha) is a small. flat, round, dark green pumpkin with deep ridges and tastes like winter squash.Left on the vine longer, it can turn a nice deep orange. There are even light blue and white pumpkins (Lumina, Casper)!

Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.

Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, from miniatures to giant, from bright orange to green!

The Lowdown

  • Season
  • Select
    Choose firm, blemish-free pumpkins with a good stem attached.
  • Store
    Pumpkins last for weeks uncut. When carved, store in the refrigerator for at most 2-3 days, then cook.

Related Recipes