6 PUMPKIN PICKING TIPS
Firm and Fresh
Apply pressure to the bottom of the pumpkin with your thumbs to test for firmness. A fresh pumpkin has a hard surface that will not dent or scratch easily.
Check for cracks, splits, mold, and wrinkles on the pumpkin that would show damage or rotting.
The stem of a pumpkin protects it against pests and decay. A firmly attached stem is a sign on a healthy pumpkin.
Round or Oval Shaped
A round or oval shaped pumpkin is easier to carve.
Set the pumpkin on a flat surface to make sure it will sit well outside your home.
A ripe pumpkin will be one consistent color. Partially green pumpkins are still maturing.
HOW TO PRESERVE PUMPKINS
Keep your pumpkin fresh once carved with a bleach solution and petroleum jelly to fight mold and dehydration. Here's what you'll need:
- One tablespoon Glo bleach
- One quart water
- Being Well petroleum jelly
Combine bleach and water into a spray bottle.
Spray the inside and all carved areas of the pumpkin.
Let sit for 20 minutes.
Rub all carved and cut surfaces of the pumpkin with petroleum jelly.
HOW TO COOK A PUMPKIN
Once you have picked the perfect pumpkin, it's time to indulge in all things pumpkin flavored. Roast pumpkin seeds or make your own homemade pumpkin puree for any of our favorite pumpkin recipes below.
Save the seeds when carving your pumpkin, or cut a whole pumpkin in half to scoop out the seeds. Separate the seeds from the pulp by rinsing the seeds and pulp in a large bowl. Repeat this process until most of the pulp has been removed. Fill the bowl with water and the pumpkin seeds will float to the top, leaving the pulp at the bottom. Drain the seeds in a colander and use our roasted pumpkin seeds recipe to make a classic, fall snack.
If you've picked your pumpkin for cooking instead of carving or decorating, you'll need to start with these 3 steps to make pumpkin puree:
Cut pumpkin in half to first scoop out the seeds.
Bake skin-side up for 45-60 minutes on 350F.
Scrape out the pulp and mash. A food processor may be needed.