How Do You Choose The Perfect Pumpkin

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It’s that time of year. Fall has hit most of the United States and the air is crisp. Most of us are looking for the perfect pumpkin to use for decor or even for consuming. There are going to be a lot of pumpkins out there to choose from. How do you choose the perfect pumpkin? I can tell you right off the bat that a perfect pumpkin sounds deep and hollow. The louder your pumpkin echoes, the better! As you hunt for the perfect pumpkin, why not see if you can find any hollow ones?!

How to Choose the Perfect Pumpkin

Of course, in order to choose the perfect pumpkin, you need to know the ins-and-outs. You need to know the secret of your neighbor who can keep a pumpkin all fall long without it rotting. There are perfect pumpkins out there, you just need to know how to look! My first step is to make sure you head to a pumpkin farm. This is truly going to be one of the best places to get a perfect pumpkin. You’re also going to find more variety there than you would anywhere else you can buy pumpkins.

How Do You Choose The Perfect Pumpkin

Tip for Choosing That Perfect Pumpkin

Don’t get me wrong, the most perfect pumpkins are not the ones that are perfectly round. Perfect pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. The best part of picking out a pumpkin is that some are round, skinny, short, fat and everything in between! A perfect pumpkin is chosen more than by what it looks like. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start your voyage to choosing the perfect pumpkin.

1. Never pick up the pumpkin by its stem, it can break off, and then bacteria can grow in the pumpkin wound. So, be extra careful!

2. Check for bruising or cuts because they can go downhill pretty fast from the tiniest scratch or nick. Take the time to check out the pumpkin before you buy it.

3. The smaller pumpkins are sweeter, denser, and have a higher sugar content-perfect for pie-making. If you like to make pies, make sure you keep this in mind.

4. The tall ones have stringier insides. You probably didn’t know this about tall pumpkins!

5. White pumpkins are easier to paint than the orange ones and are great baking pumpkins. Over the years, I’ve noticed that and I stock up on the white pumpkins.

6. Harvest a pumpkin when the vines start to dry up and the pumpkin is the color you like.

7. Make sure the skin is hardened so you can’t crack it with your fingernail. This is a great tip, especially for pumpkins you plan on carving.

8. Tap the pumpkin to see how dense the walls are, thick walls block the candlelight.

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9. The small cooking pumpkins weigh from 3-7 pounds-perfect for pies.

10. You can roast and eat the seeds of any pumpkin. This is a great edible project to do with the kids!

11. Check for firmness on the pumpkin. Remember when a pumpkin is ready to harvest, their skin gets firm and kind of leathery.

12. Green stems rock! When you are choosing the perfect pumpkin, make sure you are choosing one with a green stem. Again, avoid picking up the pumpkin by the stem as this can damage it.

How To Cook/Bake Pumpkin Seeds:

Now, one thing I want to add is how to cook or roast those pumpkin seeds you scrape out of your Jack O’Lantern or Sugar pumpkins. Yep, there are a lot of them. There are just a few simple steps to get them ready to throw into granola, to snack on or sprinkle on salads. Printable recipe below.

1. Scrape the seeds out of the pumpkin.

2. Wash the seeds and let them dry overnight or at least several hours.

3. Get a cookie sheet and cover it with foil and grease with vegetable oil (so the pumpkin seeds can be removed easier after baking).

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup Agave
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper, or your favorite spices
  • Dash of Real Salt
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the pumpkin seeds in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the Agave, olive oil, Cayenne Pepper, and Real Salt in a small bowl. Stir the liquid until blended and pour over the pumpkin seeds. Stir the pumpkin seeds with the liquid until covered. Place the mixture on a foil-covered greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Stir the pumpkin seeds halfway through the cooking period. Let cool and enjoy! These are great for salads or snacks. 

How To Bake/Cook Pumpkins Seeds
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
  • 6 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup Agave sweetener
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • dash of Real Salt
Instructions
  1. 1. Scrape the seeds out of the pumpkin 2. Wash the seeds and let them dry overnight or at least several hours 3. Get a cookie sheet and cover it with foil and grease it with vegetable oil (so the pumpkin seeds can be removed easier after baking)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the pumpkin seeds in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the Agave, olive oil, Cayenne Pepper, and Real Salt in a small bowl. Stir the liquid until blended and pour over the pumpkin seeds. Stir the pumpkin seeds with the liquid until covered. Place the mixture on a foil-covered greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Stir the pumpkin seeds halfway through the cooking period. Let cool and enjoy! These are great for salads or snacks. 

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

1. Heart-healthy eating 1/4 cup of pumpkins seeds contains half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. This may help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure.

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2. Zinc-great immune system booster helps with sleep, depression, and mood swings.

3. Promotes a healthy prostate-because of the zinc in them.

4. Help with diabetes regulation-always check with your doctor.

5. Postmenopausal-helps with hot flashes, headaches, and blood pressure.

6. Anti-inflammatory-great for those of us with arthritis issues.

Here is a great article from the Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic Article on Pumpkin Seeds.

Please Do NOT Can Pumpkin Puree:

If you are thinking about canning pumpkin, please remember it is not safe to can pumpkin puree. You can pressure can chunks of pumpkin safely. Here is a FREE download you’ll want to print out, I promise. Book Form: USDA Complete Guide To Home Canning Free download: USDA Complete Guide To Home Canning.

What is the Perfect Pumpkin?

When you are searching for a pumpkin, make sure you choose one that has a very deep orange color. This color represents a very healthy pumpkin! Another way to tell if a pumpkin is just right for picking, you can check the bottom of it. You will want to make sure the pumpkin is not mushy on the bottom. It’s worth taking these extra precautions to ensure you get the best pumpkin possible.

Which Pumpkins Are Best For Carving?

You will quickly find out that there are a lot of different pumpkins out there. Some pumpkins are better for cooking and others are better for carving. Most people would agree that Lumina pumpkins are best for carving pumpkins. Of course, you can make any pumpkin perfect for decorating because all you have to do is paint it!

What Happens When You Pick a Pumpkin Too Early?

If you get too excited and think you have found the right pumpkin, but you picked it too early, you may be wondering what you can do. It’s truly best if you do not pick the pumpkins early and try to store them because they will most likely just die. Allow the pumpkins to stay on the vine as long as possible because most people want the freshest pumpkin that they can find!

Final Word

Don’t you just love this time of year? The leaves are changing colors and the trees are blowing in the wind. I hope you enjoyed my post today on how do you choose the perfect pumpkin. Life is so fun with a few pumpkins sitting on my porch. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Pumpkin Seeds Roasted Deposit photos_301406086_s-2019

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