Season: July to December

Description: Pumpkin is a source of vitamin A, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Vitamin A also helps maintain eye health. Pumpkin is also a source of potassium, vitamin K, magnesium and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, vitamin K and magnesium help build and maintain strong bones, and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular.

Vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Potassium, Magnesium, Fiber

Selection: Choose well-shaped pumpkins that are firm and slightly heavy. They should have tough skin without any wrinkles or blemishes.

Storing: In a cool, dry place. Whole unblemished pumpkins can be stored for 3 to 6 months at 45 to 50 degrees F.

Preparation: Wash pumpkin, cut and remove seeds.

Serving: To bake, cut in half. For larger pumpkins, cut into quarters and place pumpkin pieces in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes to 1 hour or microwave on high for 15 minutes. Pumpkin is done when it is tender. Mash with brown sugar or maple syrup and a little butter. Puree and serve as the base of a savory soup or in a sweet pie. Pumpkins can also be peeled, diced and boiled for 25 to 30 minutes. Spread on toast and top with cinnamon and sugar.

Recipes containing Pumpkin: