Roasting pumpkins is the easiest way to prepare pumpkin. Cut in half, deseed, quarter or wedge, and roast at 350°F until fork tender, about 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of your pumpkin pieces. Or you can peel, cube and boil your pumpkin for 30 to 40 minute depending on the size of the cubes.
Look for smaller pumpkins that have a smooth skin without punctures or deep gashes.
Fresh pumpkins can store up to three months in a cool, dry area (such as a pantry or root cellar).
Look for edible pie pumpkin varieties. Baby pam or sugar pumpkins are most common. Also available are baby bear, Cinderella, and kakai pumpkins.
Growing up, I had no idea that you could eat pumpkins. For years I went about carving pumpkins, tossing the seeds, and never thinking twice that the flesh was edible. Of course, as it turns out, pumpkins are one of the great treasures of fall. Edible pumpkins are often the small pumpkins (such as “pie pumpkins”) but the large pumpkins you carve also serve an important purpose: pumpkin seeds! Once you start making your own pumpkin puree, it’s hard to go back to the canned. Plus, it’s a fairly straightforward process to make your own!
If you have a lot of pumpkins, making puree and freezing it is an excellent way to preserve your pumpkin throughout the winter. Then you can have pumpkin whenever you need it for pies, breads, and muffins! Fresh picked pumpkins will also last up to 3 months when stored properly in a cool, dry area.