Pumpkins: This Week's Market Report Good Buy!

Those big pumpkins you see at the pumpkin patch for carving into jack-o'-lanterns look appealing, they aren’t ideal for cooking and baking. While they are edible, they become stringy, bland, and watery when cooked. The best pumpkins for baking and cooking with are sweet, flavorful, have smooth-textured flesh, and generally have fantastical names like "sugar pumpkins", Baby Pam, Autumn Gold, Ghost Rider, New England Pie Pumpkin, Lumina (which are white), Cinderella, and Fairy Tale.

Once you have the right kind of pumpkin, you can treat it like any other hard winter squash: roast it whole, steam it, or cut it into smaller pieces before cooking into soups and curries. Something many people don’t know is that pumpkin skins are totally edible and delicious! No need to go through the annoying process of cutting them away. I love pumpkin paired with warm flavors such as brown butter, sage, and chili flakes. You can also make your own pumpkin purée and freeze it until you are ready to make pies, broths, and breads.

Lastly, don’t forget those seeds! Pumpkin seeds are not only very high in minerals like Zinc, but they are absolutely delicious when roasted with salt, chili powder, and a touch of brown sugar.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.