31 Days of Pumpkins

Whether it’s for dinner, dessert or carving Jack-o-lanterns, nothing says fall quite like orange pumpkins. We’ve got pumpkin ideas for every day of the month.
Related To:
alton brown's pumpkin bread

A loaf of Brown Pumpkin Bread with one slice removed that is placed on a plain white surface

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

Whether it’s for dinner, dessert or carving Jack-o-lanterns, nothing says fall quite like shiny orange pumpkins. We’ve got ideas for every day of the month.

1.    Check out your local farm or farmers’ market for unique varieties like “Oz” or “Spooktakular”

2.    Did you know? Pumpkins can be found in different colors, like orange, green and white.

3.    Find out where the “pumpkin capital” of the United States is.

4.    When you're at the pumpkin patch – choose pumpkins with smooth, hard skin that are free of bruises or blemishes.

5.    It’s not pumpkin season until you make Pumpkin Pie – try our slimmed down recipe.

6.    If you're buying canned pumpkin, look for pumpkin puree over sugar-filled pumpkin pie filling.

7.    Use pumpkin puree for this festive and ghostly dessert.

8.    Get your antioxidants: Pumpkins have a healthy dose of the antioxidant lutein.

9.    Practice easy peeling -- use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skin.

10.   Save those pumpkin seeds! They’re too yummy to toss.

11.   Combine with fresh orange for a warm and cozy soup.

12.   Keep them fresh: Pumpkins can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months.

13.   Roast chunks of peeled pumpkin with olive oil, fresh sage, salt and pepper.

14.   Think outside the box -  Pumpkin Flan!

15.   Use shredded fresh pumpkin in your pumpkin bread to make it super moist.

16.   Cook chunks of fresh pumpkin in a saucepan, low and slow, for a naturally sweet pumpkin butter.

17.   Get 10-percent of your daily fiber needs in each cup of pumpkin.

18.   Use canned pumpkin to make a savory and creamy pasta dish.

19.   Combine ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to make your own pumpkin pie spice.

20.  Sink into a comforting bowl of Pumpkin Rice Pudding – for only 240 calories per serving.

21.   Pumpkin + Curry Powder = Heaven!

22.  Make a batch of sweet, chewy and crunchy Pumpkin Caramels.

23.   Learn more about the nutrients found in orange foods.

24.   Freeze cooked, mashed pumpkin in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

25.   Turn pumpkin, water and some sugar into fruit leather.

26.   Did you know? Pumpkins are in the same family as cucumbers and watermelons.

27.   Whip up a batch of Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes for the kiddies (and the grown-ups).

28.   Kick up pumpkin seeds -- roast with a sprinkle of spicy chili powder.

29.   Cocktails anyone? How about a martini made with homemade pumpkin vodka?

30.   Pumpkin season runs through November is many parts of the country so you can enjoy through Thanksgiving.

31.    BOO! Make a Jack-o-latern for Halloween but don’t forget to save all the seeds and scraps – they are too delicious to throw away.

What do you love to do with pumpkins?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Next Up

Thanksgiving Dessert of the Day: Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake

Food Network Magazine recreated Cheesecake Factory's famous seasonal pumpkin cheesecake and now you can have the recipe to wow your guests next Thanksgiving.

Eating By Color: Orange

Throughout the day you should have a rainbow of colors --- red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and white. Each color is rich in specific nutrients that help make a well-balanced diet. In this series we’ll tell you why each color is important and with Halloween around the corner, we thought it was most appropriate to start with orange.

Fall Fest: Pumpkins 5 Ways

This weekend we took the kids to a pumpkin patch and they absolutely loved it! Now we have lots of pumpkins and need to put them to good use. Here are 5 recipes using your freshly picked (and even canned) pumpkins.

Healthy Swaps: Thanksgiving Fare

Shopping for the right Thanksgiving ingredients can make all the difference. Simple changes can cut down on calories, sugar, fat, preservatives and your overall health without compromising flavor. As you hit the market to pick up your Thanksgiving fare, think about making these swaps.

Stop Putting Pumpkin Spice in Your Latte

Or at least save a few tablespoons for dinner...

Prepare for the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015

If you plan on making pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, don’t wait till the last minute to buy the canned pumpkin — or you may find yourself facing an empty supermarket shelf.

Chilled-Out Pumpkin Recipes to Make While It’s Still Hot Outside

Don’t worry — you’ll have plenty of time for fall baking later.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

This dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan curry soup is made creamy with coconut milk and pureed white beans instead of cream or yogurt.