Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Can You Eat Your Jack-o’-Lantern Pumpkin?

Can You Eat Your Jack-o’-Lantern Pumpkin?

Looking for a pumpkin to use for making pumpkin pie or a favorite recipe? If you decide to use fresh pumpkin, make sure to get the right pumpkin for the job. Jack-o’-lanterns usually are larger, with stringier pulp. Sugar or pie pumpkins generally are smaller, less stringy and work well in recipes. To prepare a pumpkin for recipes, wash it, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and microwave, bake or boil the pumpkin until the pulp is soft. Remove the skin, then mash it by hand or puree it in a food processor or blender.

Here are some easy directions for baking a pumpkin using the oven method. “To bake, place cut side down on a shallow baking dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or longer. Test for doneness by piercing with a fork. When tender, remove from the oven and allow cooling.

Besides tasting great, pumpkin provides important Vitamin A and potassium for your body. Below is an easy recipe for enjoying pumpkin throughout the year.


(Makes 32 mini-muffins or 12 regular-sized muffins)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, slightly beaten

1. Spray mini-muffin tins with cooking spray or use mini muffin liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, quick oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, oil and egg.
3. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full.
4. Mix topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffins. Bake mini-muffins at 400ºF for 8–12 minutes or until evenly browned. Bake regular-sized muffins for 15–18 minutes.

Got leftover canned pumpkin? If you use canned pumpkin to make the pumpkin spice muffins, you will have about ¾ cup of pumpkin leftover. Package in a sealable freezer bag or freezer container and freeze. After thawing, place pumpkin in a strainer to drain off excess moisture.

Adapted from an article written by Cami Wells, Extension Educator and Registered Dietitian in Hall County, University of Nebraska Extension

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