It can seem frustrating to try a new recipe and not know how much of an ingredient to purchase at the store. Sometimes they give you a quantity of pumpkin in volume (2 cups), sometimes as a weight (5 pounds) and still others the mushrooms are given as a produce description (1 medium pumpkin). But what are they really talking about? How much is in a pumpkin? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many pumpkins you need to buy.
To answer How many pumpkins in a cup we went to the grocery store to check out the produce section. After surveying the selection we confirmed that pumpkins come in a wide range of sizes! A medium pumpkin can range from 10 to 20 pounds. So instead of using a descriptive size, we chose 1 pound of pumpkin for our test sample.
For cooking, a smaller sugar or pie pumpkin (usually weighs between 3 to 8 pounds) is more flavorful than a larger carving one. One pound of fresh pumpkin yields about 4 cups raw peeled and cubed, or 1 cup cooked then mashed or pureed pumpkin. A 5 pound fresh pumpkin will make 4 to 4½ cups of cooked puree or mashed pulp. If you want a thicker puree, place it in a colander or cheesecloth for a while to drain out excess water. If a recipe calls for a 15-ounce can of pumpkin, you can replace it with 1¾ cups mashed fresh pumpkin. In general, plan on purchasing ⅓ to ½ pound of fresh pumpkin per serving as a side dish. Much of the weight will be discarded in the peel and seeds.
Did you know that scientifically speaking, pumpkins are a fruit but when it comes to cooking, they are often referred to as vegetables? According to the Guinness World Records, in October 2014 Benj Meier from Switzerland was credited with growing the heaviest pumpkin; it weighed in at 2,323 pounds (1,054 kg). Wow, that could make a lot of pies!
Next time your recipe calls for a cup of cubed or pureed pumpkin you'll feel confident knowing how many pumpkins you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many pumpkins in a... measurements you need.
Here is a lot more information about what a pumpkin actually is".
Because pumpkins contain seeds, they’re actually fruits, not vegetables. We tend to think of pumpkins as vegetables because they’re not sweet like most fruits. And if that isn’t surprising enough, they’re also classified as giant berries because they have so many seeds.
There are many different varieties of pumpkins, but they are often divided up into either eating or carving pumpkins - some pumpkins can be both eaten and carved!
Cooking pumpkins are small and usually weigh 4 to 6 pounds (1.8 - 2.7 kg). The outer layer is thick, so it protects the smooth, sweet flesh on the inside. You can find cooking pumpkins in the produce section of the grocery store.
Carving pumpkins have thinner skins than cooking pumpkins, so they are easier to cut into Jack-o'-Lanterns. In addition, the flesh inside is stringier, making it easier to remove as you prepare it for carving.
Popular cooking types include Sugar or Sweet pumpkins, New England Pie pumpkins, Long Island Cheese pumpkins, Jarrahdale pumpkins and Baby Bear pumpkins.
When it comes to carving pumpkins, no seems to outdo the large Jack-o-lantern variety. Other popular ones are Hobbit pumpkins, Lakota pumpkins, Blaze pumpkins or Gold Rush.
When we think of a pumpkin, we tend to picture them as bright orange, large and round with a thick skin and many big large seeds. But there are many varieties and they come in all shapes and sizes. Pumpkins are naturally sweet, which makes them perfect for both savoury and sweet dishes.
Pumpkins have many of the same qualities as other winter squash. They are often sweet and have a nutty undertone to them. Many people use the term "earthy" to describe the taste of pumpkin.
They're delicious and so versatile that it's easy to incorporate them into your diet, even roasting them on their own is a treat! They're a good source of fiber and contain many vitamins and nutrients. Pumpkins are naturally sweet, so work really well in sweet dishes like custards, pies and pancakes, yet they work just as well in savoury dishes like soups, roasted vegetables and pastas.
Not forgetting carving jack-o-lanterns! It was the myth of Stingy Jack, who was condemned to roam the earth eternally, that led to the Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins. Turnips were carved into demonic faces to scare Jack away, but Irish immigrants who moved to the United States began carving jack-o'-lanterns from pumpkins, as they were native to the area.
When it comes to texture, color, and taste, butternut squash is the best alternative to pumpkin. Acorn squash, Hubbard squash, buttercup squash and sweet potatoes are also good choices. Even a can of pumpkin can replace 1¾ cups mashed, fresh pumpkin.
Yes, you can certainly feed pumpkin to your pets. Raw and cooked pumpkin (without added sweeteners), even pumpkin seeds, are safe for pets to eat. The fresher the pumpkin, the better for your pet (and you), so make sure you’re not feeding your pet pumpkin that you wouldn’t eat (in other words, pumpkin that has been left out on the porch for weeks).
Because pumpkin is so easy to digest, it's often one of the first foods to be introduced to babies. But, having said that, eating an excessive amount of pumpkin seeds may cause bloating or gas, even constipation.
Here's what we learned about how to store a pumpkin.
Whole, fresh pumpkin has a surprisingly long shelf life and can last 2 to 3 months at room temperature! They like it even better if there is a little breathing room around each one.
Cut, fresh pumpkin should be tightly wrapped in cling wrap, with or without their seeds and used in about 3 days.
Cooked pumpkin should be placed in an airtight container and can last up to a week in the refrigerator. The actual pumpkin pie needs to be refrigerated and eaten within three to four days.
A can of pumpkin that has been opened will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Storing the cut and/or cooked pumpkin properly in the refrigerator will prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. It also helps avoid the pumpkin from absorbing the flavors from other produce.
Yes, pumpkin can definitely be frozen and you'll be happy to know that it freezes well!
If you freeze the pumpkin raw, it'll taste freshest if you use it within 6 months due to the high risk of freezer burn.
To freeze raw pumpkin, peel the skin, remove the seeds, and cut the flesh into chunks. Loosely place the pumpkin chunks in a single layer on a baking tray and freeze for a few hours, preferably overnight. When completely frozen, transfer the chunks to freezer bags or containers, and place them back in the freezer until required.
Blanching the pumpkin pieces before freezing will reduce freezer burns and prevent bacterial growth. Blanching is also key to preserve the color, flavor, and texture of the pumpkin. After blanching, you can freeze the pumpkin for up to a year and it will keep its nutrients.
To blanch your pumpkin, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and then place your pumpkin pieces in the boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. Once heated through, remove them from the boiling water and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Place your blanched pumpkin pieces onto a baking tray, making sure the pieces aren't touching. Pop the tray into the freezer for a few hours, preferably overnight. When completely frozen, place the pumpkin pieces in freezer bags or containers, and back in the freezer. The frozen pumpkin pieces can be added directly to stir-fry recipes or casseroles.
Completely cooked pumpkin (as opposed to blanched pumpkin) can be frozen in pieces or puréed. If you want to freeze completely cooked pumpkin, then the same method can be used as explained above, just make sure you don't overcook it! Overcooking the pumpkin will make it mushy and difficult to freeze; in which case pumpkin puree might be a better idea.
To freeze pumpkin puree or sauce, cook the pumpkin until soft and mash it up with a fork or a potato masher. Run it through a blender or food processor to create a smoother sauce. Avoid wastage by packing the puree (in airtight freezer bags) in the quantities required by recipes.
Place the bags on a tray and freeze them flat to make it easier to stack once frozen, and easier to defrost later. Another way of freezing smaller amounts of puree is by pouring it into ice trays, once frozen, transfer them into freezer bags or containers. You can thaw frozen puree in the refrigerator or under running hot water.
Pumpkin soup can be frozen using the same method as pumpkin puree above and will last around 6 months in the freezer.
To prevent freezer burn, wrap pumpkin pie in cling film and then wrap in foil before freezing. It should last a month in the freezer.
Cutting a variety of cooking pumpkin can be a challenge because they have thick skin. Be sure you have a large sharp chef’s knife to tackle this project.
It's always a good idea to wash the outside of anything that you're bringing into your kitchen to eat. Start by inspecting the pumpkin for any rotten spots. Cut damaged parts off with a knife.
Scrub the pumpkin with a vegetable brush or a clean cloth to loosen any dirt, taking care not to damage the skin. Pumpkins can be rather large, so this could be a tedious task. Once the whole pumpkin has been scrubbed, rinse under running water to remove any dirt and dry with a kitchen towel.
The cooked skin of nearly all pumpkin types can be eaten; however, some varieties have very tough skin. Most people don't hassle with the pumpkin skin and just enjoy the sweet flesh inside.
The tougher the skin, the longer it takes to cook, so you might end up with overcooked pumpkin and so-so edible skin.
An easy way to remove the skin is by pricking the pumpkin several times with a fork or sharp knife and then microwaving it on high for 3 minutes. Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to scrape the skin off in large strips (you can use these strips to make chips, just drizzle with olive oil, season, and bake until crisp).
Peeling a pumpkin without microwaving it first is more difficult so will take a bit longer, but it can be done using a paring knife. Cut away strips of the skin by pushing the knife along the side of the pumpkin, away from your body, going all the way around the pumpkin until the whole pumpkin has been peeled.
It's always a good idea to wash the outside of anything that you're bringing into your kitchen to eat. Clean the entire pumpkin as described above.
Place a damp cloth underneath a large chopping board to ensure the chopping board doesn't move around while you're cutting. Because pumpkins have hard skins and dense flesh, it's important to use a sharp, heavy knife so you don't hurt yourself in the process.
Start by cutting the pumpkin in half lengthwise, from the stem to the base. Remove the stem, seeds and skin (unless you prefer to leave the skin on) from each half, then slice the halves horizontally into slices. Try cutting the slices so they're similar in size, to ensure that they cook evenly.
Clean the entire pumpkin before chopping. Place a damp cloth underneath a large chopping board to ensure the chopping board doesn't move around while you're cutting.
Start by cutting the pumpkin in half lengthwise, from the stem to the base, with a sharp, heavy knife. Remove the stem, seeds and skin (unless you prefer to leave the skin on) from each half, and cut each half in half, so the pumpkin is now quartered. Cut each quarter into strips, then cut the strips horizontally, into the required sized cubes.
Clean the entire pumpkin then cut it into pieces using a sharp, heavy knife. Use your favorite method to cook the pumpkin, and then place the cooked pieces in a food processor.
If you don't have a food processor, you can also use a blender or a potato masher. Pulse / mash the pumpkin until smooth. When pulsing / mashing, you can add a few tablespoons of water to reach the right consistency. Strain the puree if it is too watery to remove some liquid.
Clean the outside of the pumpkin. Place a damp cloth underneath a large chopping board to ensure the chopping board doesn't move around while you're working. Using a sharp, heavy knife, cut the pumpkin into quarters, discarding the stem, seeds and skin.
Using a box grater, shred the raw pumpkin pieces by pushing them back and forth over the coarsest side of the grater, and watch your fingers!
Shredded pumpkin can be used in salads, jams. pies, bread, fritters etc.
This is one time you don't need to peel and remove the seeds or fibers from the pumpkin!
Clean the entire pumpkin as described above, then chop the whole pumpkin into very small pieces and run it through a juicer or food processor. You can add tablespoons of water to reach the required consistency.
Fruits, fruit juices, sugar, and spices such as cinnamon can also be added to 'spice' it up a bit.
Yes, pumpkins do have seeds, and yes, they are edible and yes, they're full of goodness too!
Wash the outside of the entire pumpkin before cutting it. Place a damp cloth underneath a large chopping board to ensure the chopping board doesn't move around while you're working.
Place the pumpkin on the chopping board, and slice it lengthwise down the middle, using a sharp, heavy knife. Scrape the seeds out using a spoon, or even an ice cream scoop.
Although they can be eaten raw, pumpkin seeds taste so much better roasted. Place cleaned pumpkin seeds on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and roast them until they're slightly toasted. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
Pumpkin seeds are also great in smoothies and sprinkled into salads or soups.
Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the skin, seeds, leaves, and even the flowers. You can eat the leaves raw or cooked, just don’t overcook them, as it will destroy their nutrients.
Pumpkin chunks will keep in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag for at least a week; left at room temperature, the pumpkin flesh will dehydrate.
Fresh whole pumpkin will keep for 2 months in a dry, ventilated room with temperatures in the 50 to 55°F (10 to 12.7°C) range and a relative humidity of 60 to 75%.
For longer storage you can freeze cooked pumpkin; cook, puree and package in freezer containers to be used within 6 months.
The quality of dried pumpkin is fair to good; store in a dry and cold location for the longest shelf life.
Smaller sugar (or pie) pumpkins have a thicker shell packed all the way through with pulp; larger Halloween carving pumpkins are grown specifically for their shell (hollow inside).
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
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