Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Pumpkins/Winter Squash from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Pumpkins are members of the family cucurbitaceae which include the other vine crops; melons, cucumbers, and squash.

They are native to the New World and have been cultivated by Native Americans for centuries.

In the United States, they are grown primarily for their use as jack-O-lanterns at Halloween and in pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Other countries use them far more for vegetables than we do.

Pumpkins are actually a type of winter squash with a hard rind.

Pie pumpkins are smaller, sweeter, and have more flesh than do the pumpkins that are grown for jack-O-lanterns that have relatively large seed cavities and thin walls.

Canned “pumpkin” pie filling is often a type of squash and not really pumpkin at all.

There are many types of hard shelled or winter squash including:

  • Acorn
    Small, deep green or pumpkin-colored squash. Shaped like an acorn, distinguished with deep ridges; golden acorns are the color of pumpkin. Absolutely fantastic baked and drizzled with butter, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Just halve, remove the seeds, sprinkle with salt and place cut side up. PUt a pat of butter, some brown sugar and a pinch of salt and bake at 400°F for about 40 minutes, or until meat can be easily pierced with a fork. do not pierce skin or you will lose the good butter and sugar.

  • Blue Hubbard
    Usually very large with a unique, beautiful color.

  • Buttercup
    Round and green with grey coloring. Firm and delicious for a fruity stuffing or chunks in soup.

  • Butternut
    A peanut-shaped tan-colored squash with sweet orange flesh. Along with Hubbard squash, butternut contains more than 150% of the RDA for vitamin A. Rich squash flavor for baking or mashing. Delicious when cubed and added to stews with warm-flavored seasonings such as cloves, cardamom, curry, cumin, cayenne and paprika. Also good baked like the Acorn squash above.

  • Delicata
    A small, cylindrical squash with stripes in green and orange or tan. Also called sweet potato squash. Very sweet for baking. Wonderful cooked and whipped with apple sauce and brown sugar.

  • Gold Nugget
    Tiny pumpkin shape and very firm (cook first, cut later). Sweet, buttery flavor.

  • Hubbard
    A medium large round squash with skin mottled (sometimes even knobby looking) with colors from green to orange. Cooked hubbard squash may be mashed and mixed with sautéed garlic, leeks and sage.

  • Kabocha
    Jade green rind with lighter streaks. A pale orange flesh that is tender, smooth and sweet when cooked. Choose squash that's heavy for its size. Cook as you would acorn squash; ideal for baking and steaming. Before cooking, be sure to halve and remove seeds.

  • Pie Pumpkins
    Smaller than the jack o' lantern pumpkin with tender, sweet orange-colored flesh perfect for pies.

  • Red Kuri
    Bright orange with a very hard shell. Hearty, firm flesh is perfect for less sweet recipes.

  • Spaghetti Squash
    Semi-soft and yellow, this large round squash is also known as vegetable spaghetti. When cooked, it separates into thin spaghetti-like strands. Its light, sweet flavor and delicate crunchy bite make it an excellent match for light pasta sauces. Spaghetti squash is very low in calories (one 8-ounce serving contains about 75 calories) and is a good source of complex carbohydrates. Like all winter squash, this variety may be cooked a number of ways: boiled whole, baked whole, "steamed" in halves, or microwaved.

  • Sweet Dumpling
    A very small light-colored squash with dark green stripes , with firm mildly-sweet, rich flesh. Serves one; great baked and stuffed with sautéed peppers and topped with goat cheese or baked with butter and sugar.

  • Turban
    Colorful and flamboyant for decoration or meal presentation, fairly sweet and good to eat, too.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!



Selecting a quality product

Select pumpkins that have been picked ripe and are free of soft spots.



Tips on Storage

Pumpkins will last several weeks if stored in a cool, dry place. You may also process pumpkins by cooking and pureeing them and then storing them in air-tight containers in the freezer. Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


Tips on cooking


Pumpkins can be steamed, boiled, baked or sautéed.

Cut the flesh into 1 ½ -2 inch pieces and steam or boil until tender. Pumpkins can also be steamed or baked in halves.


Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack. Rinse the seeds and blot dry. Add a few drops of cooking oil and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.

Ways to use:

Squash soup - can be sweet or savory
Pumpkin muffins, these are extra nice if you sprinkle hulled pumpkin seeds on top before baking
Any winter squash can be made into a pie
Add squash puree to tomato sauces and serve over pasta
Sauté winter squash with onion, fresh ginger and drizzle with maple syrup


Pumpkin Jell-O

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie mix)
3 oz. pkg. lemon Jell-O
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 small Cool Whip

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water, add sugar and spice. Add pumpkin, mixing well. Chill until slightly thickened. Fold in Cool Whip and nuts. Pour into mold or clean bowl, and refrigerate until firm.

Double Quick Pumpkin Bars


1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour


3 oz cream cheese, softened
6 tbsp margarine, softened
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar

These moist pumpkin bars will keep up to a week, covered, in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream oil, eggs and sugar. Add remaining cookie ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into an ungreased 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

To make frosting, cream together all the frosting ingredients. Spread on cooled, uncut cookies. After frosting has set, cut into equal size bars.

Store any leftover bars, covered, in the refrigerator.

Variation: Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins to the recipe. Yield: 36 pieces

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 pumpkin or other winter squash
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste

Scoop out the seeds and pulp from a pumpkin, and separate the pulp from the seeds, discarding the pulp. Rinse the seeds in a large colander under cold running water, removing any remaining clinging strings. Seeds will feel slippery to the touch under the water. Dump seeds, a small amount at a time, into paper toweling and dry. Spread onto a large baking sheet and allow to finish air-drying for an hour or so. When seeds are dry, toss them with the vegetable oil to coat well and sprinkle liberally with salt. Spread into a thin layer on the baking sheet and place in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Hubbard Squash in Sour Cream

4 cups cubed, pared Hubbard squash
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dill

Cook squash in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and sprinkle with pepper. Cook onion in butter till tender; blend in sour cream, milk, salt, and dash pepper: heat. Pour cream mixture over hot squash. Sprinkle with dill weed. 4-6 servings.

Squash Ravioli

1 - 2 lb. buttercup or hubbard squash, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
64 wonton skins
1 egg white


1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 450° F. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place squash on oiled baking sheet, flesh side down. Bake for 25 to 40 minutes or until flesh is tender and browned. Cool and scrape out flesh. Mash by hand. You should have about 1 1/2 cups.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until softened about 2 minutes. Turn heat to low and continue to cook until shallots are a golden color, about 5 minutes. Stir into squash puree along with parsley and Parmesan. Season well. Cool.

Lay 32 wonton wrappers on counter. Brush edges with egg white. Fill with 1 heaping teaspoon of squash mixture. Place second wrapper on top and seal edges, pushing out any air bubbles. Place on cookie sheet and lay parchment paper between layers. Freeze for one hour or up to 3 days.

Heat oil in medium skillet on low heat. Add garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. It should not brown. Add lemon rind, sage leaves and parsley. Stir together for 1 minute or until sage leaves become slightly crispy. Reserve. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add ravioli and bring back to boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until wrapper is cooked, drain and toss in skillet with sauce, adding a little cooking liquid if needed. Serve 3 or 4 per person.

Spaghetti Squash Kugel

Yield: 4 Servings

4 eggs
1 1/3 cups cottage cheese
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla butternut flavoring
3 cups cooked; drained spaghetti squash

Preheat oven 350. In large bowl beat eggs. Add cottage cheese, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla butternut. Beat until well blended. Add sp. sq. to egg mixture, mix well. Pour into a casserole sprayed with your favorite vegetable spray. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Bake 30 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Serves 4

Acorn Squash Corn Bread Dressing

1 med acorn squash
3 tbsp butter (divided)
12 slices stale white bread, ends trimmed
1 (8x8-inch) pan of cooked corn bread
2 delicious apples peeled and chopped
1 med onion
3 stalks celery diced
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp sage
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice acorn squash in half, dot with 1 tablespoon butter and bake for 40 minutes. Cool, remove skin, chop into 1/2 inch cubes. In mixing bowl, coarsely crumble stale bread and mix with crumbled corn bread. Mix in apples and raisins. Melt remaining butter in heavy skillet; add onions and celery. Saute until tender. Add to crumbs. Mix in thyme, sage, salt, pepper and squash. Add beaten eggs and chicken broth. Mix well. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly in dish. Bake 45 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

Acorn Squash Stuffed With Apple Couscous

Yield: 8 Servings

1 cup couscous
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup prunes, pitted & chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried apples
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 tsp cardamom, ground
1 tbsp maple syrup
4 acorn squash, halved & seeded
1/4 cup pecans, toasted & chopped, optional
Place couscous in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. Bring apple juice to a boil in a small saucepan & pour over the couscous. Cover & set aside until the juice is absorbed. This will take 15 minutes.

Stir in the fruit, apple juice concentrate, cardamom & maple syrup. Set aside. Steam squash halves until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain & place on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350F. Fill squash halves with the couscous mixture & bake for 20 minutes. Top with pecans & serve.

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