Sugar pumpkins are mostly used as decoration in the fall months. That’s a shame because they are the best variety of pumpkin to cook with. Their flesh is less stringy and watery than the larger jack-o’-lantern pumpkins. I like to roast them and fill them with applesauce for a nice holiday side dish. Pumpkins have immune-boosting beta-carotene, and apples have quercetin, which also strengthens your immune system.
4-6 small sugar pumpkins
Salt or salt substitute and freshly ground black pepper to taste
About 4 cups applesauce
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare the pumpkins: Carefully remove the tops of each pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon, and clean the pumpkin tops.
3. Salt and pepper the cavity of each pumpkin. Add cinnamon to taste, if desired.
4. Spoon the applesauce into the cavity of each pumpkin. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, you will use anywhere from ¼ cup to 1 cup of applesauce per pumpkin. Fill the pumpkin to just beneath the top rim.
5. Replace the pumpkin tops and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes–1 hour or until they are tender but not mushy. You can garnish with sage leaves or top with a little cinnamon.