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How to Cook with Pie Pumpkins

Interns Avi and James harvesting pumpkins at Wild Willow Farm

At Wild Willow Farm, we don’t grow ornamental pumpkins. When we buy seeds, we are going for flavor, so all the pumpkin varieties we grow are edible and meant for cooking. And for seeds, to plant and to eat. We do plant both open-pollinated and hybrid varieties, so ask us if you want to plant your seeds.

Here is what I like to do with pie pumpkins (or any other winter squash) to prepare for use in a recipe: carefully cut the pumpkin in half and scoop at any seeds and stringy bits. Then roast on a baking sheet, cut side down, until you can easily pierce the flesh. This usually takes anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes, less time with small pumpkins or squash. Scoop out the flesh, as most pumpkin and squash skin doesn’t taste very good (exceptions to this are delicata and acorn squash). Put into a food processor or blender to make a puree.

Now you are ready to make pumpkin pie, but please note that canned pumpkin pie filling that you buy at the store is already sweetened, so adjust accordingly. I found a good recipe for Pumpkin Muffins over at My Darling Vegan.

Save the seeds from your pumpkins and your winter squash. Soak then in a bowl of water to loosen sticky parts. You can also wash them under running water, and a colander works better than your hands (trust me). Then put them on a towel to dry really well. To roast, you can coat them with oil, ghee, or butter and bake on a cookie sheet or in a pan on the stove. You can also roast them dry. Once you remove them from the heat, add a little salt. Or try a spice mix. Share, if you choose.

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