Also called pie pumpkins, sugar pumpkins are the smaller, sweeter versions of the larger carving jack-o’-lanterns. Find out more in this ingredient guide.
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.
1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides:
It’s also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin B, and vitamin E.
Sugar pumpkins can also be labeled as pie or sweet pumpkins depending on the store.
Look for pumpkins that feel heavy for their size, have a vibrant orange rind, and are 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.
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.
As with other winter squashes, sugar pumpkins are highly versatile as they can be used in savory and sweet dishes.
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, cookies, 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.
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