Can You Eat Those Cute Little Decorative Pumpkins?

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You absolutely can eat these little guys! They are delicious!

And they may just be the way to get your kids to try out winter squash!

Rebecca (Roots and Wings) and I are working together on a little project for November to make good use of any leftover mini pumpkins; but in the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share what my Sweetie and I have found out about eating them!

I have to give my Sweetie credit for baking the first ones at our house. I was a bit dubious when he told me he had heard from someone at the farm that they were edible.

If you are inclined to follow in his footsteps - a word of caution -  be sure you buy from a farm or make sure the pumpkin hasn't been treated.  I saw some gourds for sale at a local upscale market today that looked as it they had been covered with at least 8 coats of glossy Mod Podge!

Baking is easy! Here's how.

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Using a paring knife, cut around the stem making sure you cut through the flesh into the cavity.

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The tip of the knife works great for popping off the top.

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Scoop out the seeds and pulp, making sure to get the ones hiding under the top edge.

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Cleaning out the seeds and pulp is very easy.

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Place the little top back on the pumpkin, set on a cookie sheet lined with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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Your pumpkin is done when the little top shrinks away from the rest of the pumpkin and the flesh gives when you apply gentle pressure. (See my thumb prints?)

P1080790 And this is where communication between husband and wife broke down! I asked my Sweetie to prepare the little pumpkins as he had before - which was to add butter, maple syrup and a bit of salt - right inside and mix it up.

But that wasn't the way he did it this time! I turned around, camera in hand, just in time to catch him pouring syrup over a lovely pile of mashed pumpkin! Oops!

Not exactly how I planned things to go - but - as it turns out, this bit of miscommunication was useful in pointing to a better way to prepare the pumpkin filling.

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So - I baked another one! Wanting to let it cool a bit before I scooped out the insides, I sat down to answer a few e-mails! Big mistake! I forgot all about it for about two hours. When I returned to the kitchen, my lovely little pumpkin was all wrinkly.

You can't imagine how thrilled I was!

I guess there is a lesson here - like - serve relatively soon after baking!

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Although brown sugar or pancake syrup work just fine, I highly recommend adding maple syrup along with a little butter and a bit of salt. A sprinkle of cinnamon is yummy too! Mash everything together until well mixed.

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Put the filling back into the little pumpkin.

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Replace the top if you like and serve. If your pumpkin has a long stem on it, you can certainly leave it on for fun! And I am thinking that drawing a little jack-o-lantern face with those special pens designed for decorating cookies would just add to the fun! Wish I had some around here.

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It is very hard to determine if these little pumpkin are ripe and sometimes you may come across one that is green. My recommendation is to purchase a couple extras just in case. We have only run across a couple - but it does happen - (and in this case, I am glad it did).

Also, I do not recommend that you eat a little pumpkin that you have allowed to sit around as a decoration for a full month. And, we have found that they are best if you purchase them early in the season rather than at the end of the season.

They seem to get bitter as they get old. At least that is our experience. FYI.

But don't let that dissuade you from trying them out. They are so, so sweet and have a very smooth texture. With a little sweetening and a touch of cinnamon, I can't imagine most kids not loving them.

Let me know what YOU think!

Did you know there are many, many many varieties of winter squash?  For fun and a little winter squash knowledge, check out this link to the Pumpkin Patch wholesale squash guide.  There are 23 different winter squash varities pictured with hints for storage, use, flavor and texture.

And you can find more info about storing, cooking, and even roasting seeds right here!

Anyone posted a winter squash recipe lately?  Why don't you place a link to your recipe in the comments! Thank you!

I made them last year, but

I made them last year, but with a slight twist. I was think that you would not get enough meat out to really enjoy the flavor, so I sautéed butternut squash and added it to the mixture. They were a big hit..
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

I can hardly wait to try

I can hardly wait to try this! We had a fall wedding and a lot of mini pumpkins leftover. I sat them on the cool front porch, for decorations. I hated to throw them all away when I started decorating for Christmas!

Your blog has been very helpful!

Excellent suggestion. I'll do

Excellent suggestion. I'll do this for my daughter!!

had to try your recipe, but I

had to try your recipe, but I added some nutmeg & cinnamon & vanilla inside before roasting. My %year old daughter &10month old son loves it!! My daughter was excited to find out that she could eat the pumpkin she picked out & decorated from Pumpkin Patch. So hers did have a Jack-o-Lantern face when she ate it, So excited. Thank you for the idea.

The best thing about reading

The best thing about reading blogs? I find that I have that wide-eyed-toddler-discovering-a-bug-on-a-flower-and-being-enchanted feeling all the time. Seriously. I never even knew (thought about) what was inside those teeny, tiny pumpkins and now I'm enchanted by learning about them. Thanks!

I'm gonna make this! I can

I'm gonna make this! I can see it with some warm dips. . . Yum!

What a great idea, Kelley!  I

What a great idea, Kelley!  I have never thought of that!  Thank you!

sounds like a great tureen

sounds like a great tureen for pumpkin soup!

I am wondering... Going with

I am wondering...
Going with your pumpkin pie idea, Pam...I wonder if you could cook it most of the way, scrape it, add cream, spices, etc, then put it back in the pumpkin and cook it a bit more (so it would set up)?
What do you think?

I like the idea very much,

I like the idea very much, Tara!  We picked up several mini's yesterday at the Pumpkin Patch for baking - will give your idea a try although I am thinking that the filling may not set without the egg.  Pumpkin pie is a custard pie afterall - milk and eggs - and it is the eggs that make it set.

With all the raw egg problems these days, I am reluctant to add eggs.  But I am giving it a try without the eggs. 

Thanks so much for sharing your idea!

This post is FANTASTIC! Why

This post is FANTASTIC! Why is it that you are just about the only one that I get so inspired by that I actually find the time to make what you show!? I am TOTALLY going to do this! I think my kids would LOVE it. How cute to serve mini pumpkins for a meal? I wonder how it would taste cold, as in for their school lunches? My Mom always makes a meal in a pumpkin for our family Halloween party. This year because of other parties, our family party wont include a whole meal and so my Mom isn't doing it. I don't really want to do a whole one just for my tiny family. However, I'm thinking I could do 1/2 the recipe and add to these tiny pumpkins. Yum-O! Honestly my families meal in the pumpkin kind of looks yucky, but you scoop it out with the pumpkin flesh and it's so yummy!
Thanks for the shout out link to me! :) You are so sweet!

What fantastic news that we can eat these. I might have to try this ASAP!! I think I will try all your versions (my kids LOVE maple sugar) and then in a week or two make my meal in a pumpkin in them! I also think it's something I will have to bake and then run a few over to my Mom's house. Wouldn't that be a fun surprise?

Thanks for the inspiration (and link!),
Rebecca@RootsAndWingsCo

I must admit I'm giggling my

I must admit I'm giggling my head off, picturing the moment when you turned around to photograph that cute little pumpkin and instead found a plate of mash!

But what a great, helpful post! I want to try these things now! I'll have to score some at the Pumpkin Patch in a couple weeks.

Well, Diane I have to tell

Well, Diane I have to tell you I actually did better than usual!! Must be mellowing with age!

I even survived the wrinkled one better than you would have expected!

I got a good laugh out of it all actually! 

My son (11) was asking us

My son (11) was asking us last week of these were edible. I've always thought of them as decorations. It's nice to know that they are edible. We don't have access locally to any farms so I will have to look at the ones at the stores to see if they are waxy.

I followed the squash link and I have never heard of 75% of those squashes. I think living way down here in hot SW Florida I am missing out on some good eats.

I grew up in Connecticut on a neighborhood farm. I always loved working in the garden. My Grandfather would let me choose some of the vegetables we would plant each year. I loved it even though our garden was 1/2 acre in size.

Once again thank you for such an informative post.

You know, Robin, I have been

You know, Robin, I have been thinking - the flesh is so smooth and light, I am thinking about adding pumpkin pie spices, butter, syrup and maybe a bit of heavy cream.  I just bet the result would be pumpkin pie in a pumpkin!  Got to try it out!

I bet you did love working in the garden and sharing the experience with your grandfather.  How fortunate you have been to have these experiences to remember and cherish.

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