Pumpkin: Incorporate it into your diet this fall

Explore some easy ideas for cooking pumpkins.

It’s pumpkin time! Pumpkins are a favorite this time of the year, whether you are going to make a jack-o-lantern or a pumpkin pie. Pumpkins can be used in other types of recipes, too. Pumpkin is a good source of Vitamin A; a one-cup serving of pumpkin offers 500 mg of potassium as well as other valuable nutrients.

Here are a couple of pumpkin recipes to add to your recipe files:

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Carve pumpkin and remove seeds. Clean the seeds, separating from the pulpy fibers form the pumpkin, rinse with cold water and dry on a paper towel. Place the dry seeds on a shallow baking pan. Dot the seeds with a small amount of margarine or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt or other seasoning. Bake in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes, until browned. Stir occasionally. Cool before eating.

Stuffed Baked Pumpkin
Use one small pumpkin with its top cut off. Clean out the seeds and stringy fibers and rinse well. Brown 2 pounds of ground beef and drain well. Add ½ cup onion chopped, ½ cup celery chopped and ½ chopped green peppers to drained ground beef in pan and cook until vegetables are softened. Add a small amount of soy sauce, one small can of mushrooms, two tablespoons of brown sugar, one can of reduced fat cream of chicken soup and two cups of cooked rice. Mix and put into the pumpkin. Place filled pumpkin on a baking pan and cook in oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the temperature in the center is 165 F (about 1 hour).

For other low cost pumpkins recipes, visit the Recipe Finder Cookbook on the United States Department of Agriculture’s website. 

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