It is officially fall which means it is pumpkin & squash season. There are so many varieties to choose from and they each serve different purposes with baking, carving or décor. We have put together the ultimate pumpkin and squash guide to help you know what pumpkin or squash will work best for your fall festivities.
This unique gourd has a nearly perfect apple shape. They are most often used in crafts and fall displays and can be painted red or made into birdhouses.
The apprentice mini pumpkin is not quite a full-sized pumpkin which makes it great for the crafters and school classrooms.
Australian Blue Squash
Australian Blue Squash is a great treat from regular green and yellow squashes. This squash is quite large with a grayish blue, almost forest green exterior. The interior is a bright and tender orange, pumpkin tasting flesh.
Australian Green Squash
The Australian Green Squash is dark green with light colored dots. It also has small patches and faint stripes. The flesh is tender and delicious so perfect for baking.
Big Mac pumpkins are extremely large, weighing anywhere between fifty and two hundred pounds. Big Mac pumpkins are not often used for cooking or baking due to their size the flesh becomes dry and fibrous. Most commonly the Big Mac pumpkin is used as a carving pumpkin.
Birdhouse or bottle gourds are one of the thick-skinned gourds that are mainly used for crafts or decoration. Gourd birdhouses are attractive to many species of birds including wrens, chickadees, swallows, bluebirds, titmice, and nuthatches.
Blue pumpkins aren’t sad. They’re supposed to be blue. These pumpkins are great for decorative usage and can be carved into blue Jack-O-Lanterns. They can also be used for baking; just peel and cut into pieces before baking.
Cinderella Pumpkins feature an exotic blue color and an almost square appearance with deep ribbing. The inside has a deep orange, sweet flesh that can be used for pies, soup, and gourmet culinary delights.
Dried Corn stalks are the perfect fall decorations. They are great for displaying on your porch with pumpkins and gourds.
The green-striped cushaw is technically a winter squash though it also produces a spring harvest. It has a tender, pale orange or yellow flesh and is most often pureed and used for baking. It has a very mild flavor that can be overpowered if not careful.
These pumpkins can be orange or white, and are great for kids. Use them to decorate or they can be baked. Roasting with a little brown sugar, cinnamon and butter is a popular form of preparing these little gems.
Knucklehead pumpkins are bright to deep orange in color and covered in varying amounts of warts, scabs or bumps. As the pumpkin matures the skin and warts will change from a dark green to completely orange although some warts will may display slight scabbing or green coloring. Similar to other varieties of pumpkins, Knuckleheads, have a hard, vertically ridged, thick rind and have many culinary and decorative uses.
These pumpkins are perfect for carving a scary Jack-O-Lantern.
One Too Many Squash
This well named, unique variety has pale red veins which become a darker red with time, giving it an unusual and attractive bloodshot-eye appearance. They are great for decorative use, carving, or making tasty pumpkin pies.
Ornamental gourds are decorative on their own as natural birdhouses or in craft projects. The oddly-shaped colorful gourds often seen in autumn decorations and can be dried and saved for future years.
Sweet Lightning Pumpkin
This unique white ornamental mini pumpkin feautures orange or green stripes. These little treasures are fun to decorate with and great for kids.
Red Warty Thing Squash
Aptly named, this Red Warty Thing looks like an overgrown ornamental gourd. But don’t be fooled by its peculiar looks; not only is it a super fall decoration, the stringless, fine-grained flesh is of excellent eating quality.
This gourd is dark green with cream flecks and is shaped just like a swan with a long, elegant neck. With their graceful form and alluring color, they are naturally ornamental and most often used as décor.
Turk Turban Squash
These come in bizarre shapes with extravagant coloration that vary from bright orange, to green or white. It has golden-yellow flesh and its taste is reminiscent to hazelnut. It is popular for centerpieces but can be sliced and hollowed to be filled with soup.
Uncle Fester Squash
This pink to orange Pumpkin has markings that grow to look like peanuts. You may not want to take it out to the ball park, but it will fit in nicely when decorating for fall. It can also be used for baking, just peel and cut it into pieces before baking.
White Ghost Pumpkin
This pumpkin has a white skin and white flesh. It’s not good for eating, but perfect for a Jack-O-Lantern.
Say hello to this gourd-geous dish and make this for your next weeknight meal. This simple but luxurious meal is ready to bring your favorite Fall flavors right to the dinner table.
1 bag pumpkin gnocchi
1 stick un-salted Food Club® butter
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
10 sage leaves, thinly sliced
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the pumpkin gnocchi and boil according to instructions.
While gnocchi is boiling, melt butter in a small sauce pan and add sliced sage. Consistently stir until it turns a golden brown color. Remove from heat and strain. Toss fresh pumpkin gnocchi with butter sauce, top with Parmesan and enjoy!
‘Tis the season to make everything with pumpkin, and what better way than to make pumpkin butter. That’s right, pumpkin butter! You can use this in a variety of recipes, as well as simply spread it on a slice of toast for breakfast. Either way, you are sure to enjoy this all season long.
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups sugar
Bring all ingredients to a simmer on medium-high in a sauce pan. Let reduce for 30-45 minutes until mixture is thick. Cool for 1 hour before serving.
Carving your Halloween pumpkin is a big part of the holiday. Unfortunately pumpkins don’t last forever and your masterpiece that you spent hours, days – let’s be honest you’ve been planning this carving since last Halloween – will start to droop and wilt within a few days. Luckily, we have a few tricks to keep your Jack-O-Lantern looking fresh!
Step 1 – Do not cut the top of your pumpkin off! Cutting of the stem will dramatically decrease the life of your pumpkin. Instead, cut off the bottom or the back of your pumpkin.
Step 2 – After you have completely cleaned out the inside of your pumpkin, make sure you save the seeds to bake later, clean your pumpkin with a bleach water mixture. Mix together 1 tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and use to clean the inside and outside of the pumpkin.
Step 3 – Let your pumpkin drycompletely before setting outside or carving! Once it is completelydry carve your masterpiece.
Step 4 – Once you have finished your carving, spread petroleum jelly on all of the surfaces that have been carved, including a light spread on the entire inside of the pumpkin.
Step 5 – Place your pumpkin on display for all of the trick-or-treaters to admire. If your pumpkin does start to wilt submerging it in an ice bath for a couple of hours can help refresh it. Reapply petroleum jelly.