One of the first and absolute best signs of fall? The arrival of all things pumpkin!
It’s all so tempting – pumpkin donuts, pumpkin butter, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin ice cream – you name it, they’ll be making it with pumpkin this time of year.
But you know what I look forward to most of all?
The actual PUMPKINS!
Few things make me happier than the first visit to the farmer’s market after all the pumpkins and fall/winter squash arrive. There’s just something about the feel of the fall harvest that makes me all swoony and nostalgic.
And even though I love all the things that can be made with this seasonal treasure, I think my favorite thing to do with pumpkin is just cut it into chunks and bake it!
Call me a pumpkin purist.
Ok, so sometimes I do add a little bit of cinnamon or curry powder and a drizzle of oil to prevent sticking, but that’s it. And for about 3 dollars, I can cook more fresh, local pumpkin than I can even use (well, almost–we freeze some.) Just 1/4 of our first pumpkin of the year made 3 nights’ worth of side dishes and 2 lunches.
It’s a thrifty mom’s dream! And SO good for you, too! Just look at the color – it screams, “Hey! I’m crazy high in nutrients!”
So, before you add the cream cheese, heavy cream or brown sugar, I urge you to give fresh pumpkin a try in its original state. Start with an eating variety, like a Cinderella or neck pumpkin (and make sure you wash it well.) Just cut into small cubes, toss with curry powder or cinnamon and a bit of oil, and bake in a 375ºF oven until fork tender. Easy as pie!
One bite and you’ll understand just what good ol’ Ma Nature had in mind.
Do you look forward to the pumpkin harvest each year?
Have you ever eaten a fresh pumpkin?