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88 Fall Pumpkin Ideas to Satisfy Your Obsession

Updated September 19th, 2016

Fall’s early hallmarks are here: kids are back in school, slightly cooler weather has arrived in most places, and all things pumpkin are returning to stores. From actual pumpkins to pumpkin-spice espresso drinks, ice cream, facial care products, and dog treats, pumpkin rules the season.

Your Pumpkin Obsession Explained (sort of...)

Pumpkin is one of the most popular crops in the U.S. with more than a billion grown each year. In the same family as gourds and squash, pumpkins are more versatile in the kitchen than you might imagine. Pie pumpkins have a sweet, slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture. Plus they couple nicely with popular seasonal spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice for that palate-pleasing pumpkin-spice combo found in Pumpkin-Gingerbread CupcakesPumpkin Bread Pudding and even in this recipe for Gluten-Free Pasta Bake. Bonus: Besides recipes, pumpkins — especially colorful heirloom varieties of various shapes and sizes — have become house decorators’ go-to in the fall.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe

Selecting and Storing

When choosing fresh pumpkins for cooking, avoid the large carving varieties used for Jack-o-lanterns, which are thin-walled, stringy and lack the rich flavor you want when baking or cooking. Cooking varieties such as pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins) are small but heavy for their size — about 5 to 7 pounds. The shape is not important.

Buying now, cooking later? Store pumpkins up to one month in a cool, dry place. The flesh tends to become stringy at temperatures above 60°F. And, if you can spare the space and temperature is an issue, pumpkins can also be refrigerated for up to one month.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Cooking Fresh Pumpkin

While canned 365 Everyday Value® 100% Pure Pumpkin is an easy shortcut, you can also roast a pie pumpkin (sometimes called a sugar pumpkin) to make homemade purée. While there are a handful of ways to cook fresh pumpkin, here is one we love: Easiest Whole Roasted Winter Squash recipe. As a rule of thumb, for each pound of raw, untrimmed pumpkin, you'll get approximately one cup of purée. (For reference: one regular-sized 15-oz can of pumpkin puree is just shy of two cups.)

And don’t toss those seeds! Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are a tasty addition in casseroles, salads, soups, breads and granola. Their rich, peanut-like flavor makes them an additive game-day snack too.

 

Traditional Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Traditional Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin Recipes and Ideas

With more than 60 tested recipes using pumpkin or pumpkin seeds on our site, where do you start? To make it easy, we’ve curated our 12 best pumpkin recipes, including a pumpkin pie smoothie and one for pumpkin dog treats. Looking for more? We’ve divided them up below to make it easy to pick the best pumpkin recipe for your occasion … or craving. Dig in!

Desserts

Where would we be without traditional pumpkin pie, a mainstay at holiday tables across the U.S.? That said, sometimes twists on traditions can yield great rewards. Whether you simply want to slightly update the classic pumpkin pie or need to adapt your recipe for special diets reasons, we’ve got you covered. Here are five refreshed pumpkin pie recipes sure to please:

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust Recipe

But don’t stop there! Here are more pumpkin-centric dessert recipes:

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Main dishes, sides and soups

When it comes to pumpkin, think beyond dessert. You can use fresh pumpkin like you would butternut squash, stir puréed pumpkin into a soup, or make a creamy pumpkin rice dish. Better yet, make a main dish like this Turkey Pumpkin Chili recipe that brings together ground turkey, pumpkin, beans, veggies and spices for a hearty cool-weather meal.

Here are more ideas:

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Breakfast, Breads and Snacks

It’s time for pumpkin bread, muffins and cheese dip. Yes, pumpkin cheese dip!

Whole Grain and Pumpkin Seed Granola Recipe

Whole Grain and Pumpkin Seed Granola Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Making pumpkin muffins or a pumpkin pie? You can make your own pumpkin pie spice by combining 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Or take a short cut with 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice. Tip: Sprinkle it on your morning coffee, mix into your oatmeal or sprinkle on winter vegetables before roasting!

Pumpkin Seed Milk Recipe

Pumpkin Seed Milk Recipe

Pumpkin Seeds

The shelled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) you find in the bulk bins of Whole Foods Market come from a special variety of pumpkin that produces long, flat, dark green, hull-less seeds. However, the seeds you find in large and small pumpkins (carving pumpkins included) in the produce departments look different, though they are still perfect for roasting.

Whether you roast your own or pick some up in bulk, pumpkin seeds make a great snack as well as add flavor and crunch to many dishes. Sprinkle on yogurt, soups and salads like in this recipe for Fall Greens Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Asiago. Bake pumpkin seeds into cookies, cakes, breads and muffins. This recipe for Flax and Pumpkin Seed Corn Bread shows you how. Or make Pumpkin Seed Milk, a creamy, nutty, neutral-flavored nondairy beverage. 

Here are additional recipes with pumpkin seeds:

Watch and Learn

If you’re a visual learner, these cooking videos will be right up your alley:

Pumpkin and Pets

Get Fido into the action with Whole Paws™ Pumpkin Small Dog Biscuits or make your own. Or, go homemade with these Spiced Pumpkin Dog Treats —they're gluten-free treats that are chock-full of tasty ingredients. Plus, peanut butter adds a tempting flavor.

Pumpkin Spice Flavored Dog Biscuits

Spiced Pumpkin Dog Treats Recipe

Decorating with Pumpkins

This fall let nature do the work! Up your holiday décor game by pairing small white pumpkins with deep red pomegranates and dark green leaves. Or make a show-stopping centerpiece by carving a pie pumpkin large enough to hold a cup or small vase for flowers. In addition, a mini pumpkin can become a candleholder by simply slicing off the top of the pumpkin, removing the seeds and hollowing out a place to hold the tea light. Make several of these mock candleholders and line them up along the center of your table. And don’t forget the front stoop. Mixing and matching a variety of heirloom pumpkins is a seasonal and dramatic way to increase curb appeal.

Pumpkin Spice Latte: Make it Vegan for Free

The arrival of pumpkin spice lattes even has some coffee purists (“black, no milk”) cheering. And our pumpkin spice lattes give you even more reasons to celebrate — they are made with no artificial flavorings or colors, plus there is no extra charge for alternative milks!  

Pumpkin Beauty Products

That’s right, pumpkin has hit the beauty aisles. Here are three of our favorites this fall. Note: Selection may vary by store.

  • MyChelle Dermaceuticals Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser
  • MyChelle Incredible Pumpkin Peel
  • MyChelle Renew Cream

Organic Ice Cream Sandwiches Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Products: From Our Shelves to Your Pantry

Let’s start with an essential pantry staple: 365 Everyday Value® 100% Pure Pumpkin (meaning no extra stuff!). It is more than a time-saver — it is also Non-GMO Project verified. Plus, the can has a non-BPA lining. Many more products that feature pumpkin are in stores for a limited time — get them while you can! Like all the grocery products sold at Whole Foods Market stores, they are made with no hydrogenated fats and no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners or high fructose corn syrupNote: Selection may vary by store.

  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin Spice Low Fat Yogurt
  • 365 Everyday Value® Pumpkin Cheesecake Sandwich Cremes
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Ice Cream Sandwiches Pumpkin Pie
  • Little Secrets Spiced Pumpkin Pie Dark Chocolate Candies
  • Talenti Pumpkin Pie Gelato
  • Terra Beauregard Sweets & Fairytale Pumpkin
  • Almond Dream Pumpkin Spice Nondairy Beverage
  • Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Tea
  • 365 Everyday Value® Pumpkin Spice Granola With Cranberries & Apples

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