Dietitian Guide to Sugar Pumpkins

Dietitian Guide to Sugar Pumpkins

Also called pie pumpkins, get everything you need to know about the healthy benefits, buying, storing, and using sugar pumpkins.

What are Sugar Pumpkins?

Believed to have originated in North America, pumpkins were a staple in the diets of Native American Indians and have since become the flavor that we all associate with the fall season. 

Unlike large carving pumpkins that we use as decoration during Halloween, sugar pumpkins are smaller, sweeter, and less fibrous making them perfect for cooking and baking. 

Another interesting fact? Pumpkins are technically fruits, not vegetables!

Nutritional benefits of sugar pumpkins

1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides: 

  • 49 calories
  • <0.5 grams fat
  • 2 grams protein 
  • 12 grams carbs
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 245% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin A
  • 19% of the RDA for vitamin C
  • 16% of the RDA for potassium
  • 10-11% of the RDA for copper, manganese, vitamin B12, and vitamin E

It’s also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin B, and vitamin E. 

Clearly, if you want to get in some vitamin A, pumpkin is the way to do it! Not only is vitamin A important for eye health, but it also has benefits for your immune system as well.

How to select and store Sugar Pumpkins

Sugar pumpkins can also be labeled as pie or sweet pumpkins depending on the store. 

Look for one that feels heavy for its size, has a vibrant orange rind, and is free of bruises. 

It should also be firm, not squishy, and still have part of the stem attached as that’ll help prevent it from going bad quickly. 

How to store

Sugar pumpkins can last for up to a month if kept in a clean, dry place such as your kitchen counter. 

However, keep in mind that pumpkins start to lose flavor and moisture once they’re separated from the vine. So for best flavor, try to use your pumpkin sooner rather than later. 

Ways to use them in cooking and baking

As with other winter squashes, sugar pumpkins are highly versatile as they can be used in savory and sweet dishes. 

On the savory sides, they can be roasted and served as a side dish or added to grain bowls, pasta dishes, or salads. You can also add roasted pumpkin to soups, stews and chilis

Once roasted, sugar pumpkin can also be pureed to be used in all sorts of desserts and breakfast dishes, such as pies, homemade pop tarts, oatmeal (hot or overnight oats), pancakes and waffles, baked french toast, cookies, pies, and quick breads or muffins. 

Regardless of how you use it, sugar pumpkins should always be washed before cutting and then have the seeds scooped out. 

Dietitian Guide to Sugar Pumpkins

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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