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2 decorated pumpkins

Florida’s Great Pumpkins

The Season for the Pumpkin

The Autumn season screams cooler weather, warm colors, rich spices, and Pumpkin.  I adore pumpkin, including all its many varieties.  There are also many ways to prepare the winter squash, and I have not found a recipe that disagrees with my palate yet.

The American in me adores Pumpkin Pie with lots of whipped cream for fall and winter holiday celebrations or just for breakfast.  This dessert is one to which I look forward every November.  My “Island” upbringing switches out the sweet side of pumpkin for its savory side in such dishes as Pumpkin Curry.  There is scarcely a limit to what you can do with the versatile pumpkin.

  Pumpkin Recipes

Following are links to a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes and the varieties with which you can try them:

uniformly sized Sugar-Pumpkins

Sugar Pumpkins are usually smaller than a basketball. 2019 UF/IFAS Photo

Sugar Pumpkin/Pie Pumpkin:  Pumpkin-Praline Cheesecake is a decadent recipe found on the “My Baking Addiction” website. I like to have this with the small Sugar Pumpkin traditionally used for pumpkin pie but it would also be good with acorn squash.

Florida field grown tropical calabaza pumpkins

Florida field grown Tropical Calabaza pumpkins at UF’s GCREC in Bradenton. UF/IFAS photo.

Caribbean Calabaza Pumpkin: Spicy Pumpkin Rice is one of the most comforting yet healthful foods I make for my family.  It is a one-pot-deal that is goodness all stirred together.  You may even  substitute butternut squash if you like.   

a large Jarrahdale Pumpkin

A beautiful blue Jarrahdale Pumpkin. Photo by Creative

Jarrahdale or Queensland Blue Pumpkin:  Pumpkin Fritters are a savory, slightly crispy, hand-held pumpkin appetizer.  These bronze tokens from the gods are delicious with either a soft crumbly or creamy melting cheese on top.

Grow Your Own Pumpkins

If you are interested in growing pumpkins in your own garden, you still have time between now and mid-July to decide which variety you are most inclined to enjoy.  For more information on growing pumpkins in Florida, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has a resource called Gardening Solutions‘ with a page just for pumpkins.