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Twenty scoops on pumpkins

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Whether it's for dinner, dessert or carving jack-o'-lanterns, nothing says fall quite like shiny orange pumpkins. We've got ideas.
1. Check out your local farm or farmers market for varieties like "Oz" or "Spooktakular"
2. Pumpkins can be found in different colors, like orange, green and white.
3. Find out where the "pumpkin capital" of the United States is. (Be aware that a few cities might claim this honor.)
4. When you're at the pumpkin patch, choose pumpkins with a smooth, hard skin free of bruises or blemishes.
5. If you're buying canned pumpkin, look for pumpkin puree over sugar-filled pumpkin-pie filling.
6. Get your antioxidants: Pumpkins have a healthy dose of the antioxidant lutein.
7. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skin.
8. Save those pumpkin seeds! They're too yummy to toss.
9. Combine with fresh orange for a warm and cozy soup.
10. Keep them fresh: Pumpkins can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to three months.
11. Roast chunks of peeled pumpkin with olive oil, fresh sage, salt and pepper.
12. Think outside the box: pumpkin flan.
13. Use shredded fresh pumpkin in your pumpkin bread to make it super-moist.
14. Cook chunks of fresh pumpkin in a saucepan, low and slow, for a naturally sweet pumpkin butter.
15. Get 10 percent of your daily fiber needs in each cup of pumpkin.
16. Combine ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to make your own pumpkin-pie spice.
17. Pumpkin plus curry powder equals heaven.
18. Learn more about the nutrients found in orange foods.
19. Freeze cooked, mashed pumpkin in an airtight container for up to six months.
20. Did you know? Pumpkins are in the same family as cucumbers and watermelons.
Dana Angelo,
Story tags » NutritionLocal FoodHalloween

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