Be sure to have a sharp, sturdy knife and some leverage if you plan to cut Pumpkins. And if you want to do more than decorating, here are some tips on a few varieties…

Face Pumpkins

Carving Pumpkins: These are the classic, big, tall, bright orange pumpkins for carving and decorating. They are usually sold as Face Pumpkins or Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkins. Their flesh is stringy and watery and lacks flavor for baking – they’re basically inedible. The seeds, as all hard squash and pumpkin seeds, are fine to eat when toasted.

Pie Pumpkins

Pie Pumpkins: Also, called Sugar Pie, Baby Pam and Mystic Pumpkins, this is the pumpkin to use for making your own home-made pumpkin pie filling. They’re small, mostly round and weight only a couple pounds. Halve the Pie Pumpkin, remove the seeds and pulp, bake face down at 350 degrees for 45-90 minute until the flesh is easily pierced by a fork, scoop the flesh from the shell, puree and add to your pumpkin pie recipe in place of canned pumpkin.

Peanut Pumpkins

Peanut Pumpkins: They’re odd-looking peach colored pumpkin with growths on the skin that look like peanut shells. This heavy heirloom variety is fantastic for pies and baking. Or just get people to squirm when they see it on your counter.

Fairytale Pumpkins

Fairytale Pumpkins: With a short stance, these wide and dense pumpkins have deep ribs and look like something from old Europe. Green or brown skin, they are excellent for baking.

Neck Pumpkins

Neck Pumpkins: You get lots of good flesh to bake with a Neck Pumpkin. They’re a favorite for making pies in Pennsylvania Dutch County.

Long Island Cheese Pumpkins

Cheese Pumpkins: This is a popular variety for baking in the NY-NJ metro area. The skin is tan in color, while the flesh is orange, dense and smooth.

Jon chats about a few pumpkin varieties – which are good for baking, which are not, and touches on how to prepare them to be used in pumpkin pie. Peanut Pumpkin? Sugar Pie? Baby Pam? Golden Hubbard Squash?

How To Toast Pumpkin Seeds

Wait! Don’t throw out those squash and pumpkin seeds. Toasted Organic Pumpkin Seeds are great for a home-made savory snack food and are excellent for topping salads. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Scoop seeds and pulp from any variety of Hard Squash or Pumpkin
  2. By hand separate most seeds from pulp
  3. In a strainer, run hot water over the seeds to clean them
  4. Remove any remaining pulp that is in the strainer
  5. Toss seeds in 1 tbsp olive oil in a mixing bowl then spread the seeds on a baking tray
  6. Season with coarse salt and black pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend
  7. Roast at 250 degrees for 40-60 min. or 350 degrees for 25-35 min.