Picking a perfect pumpkin

There’s a difference between pumpkins you carve and pumpkins you crave. If a pumpkin is great for carving, the insides tend to be stringy and fibrous – and that’s not great for cooking.  Look instead for smaller sugar pumpkins, pie pumpkins or cheese pumpkins. A good cooking pumpkin is about 4-8 pounds. When in doubt, ask the seller.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins

1 ¼ cups cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ cup roasted pumpkin, mashed *
1 whole egg
1 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup honey
1 cup pumpkin seeds, hull removed (also known as pepita seeds)
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare a 12-piece muffin tin with cooking spray or paper muffin cups. Stir together cornmeal, flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin, egg, milk and honey.

Combine wet and dry ingredients stirring until just incorporated – stirring too much will produce a dry and tough muffin.

Divide batter evenly into 12 cups and bake until a toothpick comes out cleanly, about 15-18 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes, remove muffins from pan and finish cooling on rack.

*To roast pumpkin: Peel, seed and dice 1 ½ cups of pumpkin. Toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap diced pumpkin in a foil pouch and seal tightly. Place pouch on sheet pan and roast at 400F until soft, about 25 minutes.


Nutritional information

Per serving: 249 calories, 6.5g fat, 6.6g protein, 44.2g carbohydrate, 4.8g dietary fiber, 14mg cholesterol, 118mg sodium, 196mg potassium, 97.2mg calcium.