NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Add Pumpkin and Squash to your Plate

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science


Add Pumpkin and Squash to your Plate

The holiday season is here and family gatherings oftentimes include pumpkin and squash.  While they may be a part of holiday meals because of tradition, they can also be a nutritious addition as well!  Both pumpkins and squash are a good source of fiber and Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is important to keep our eyes and skin healthy.

If you happen to have grown squash or pumpkins in your garden, you may be wondering if it will last until your holiday celebrations.  Both can be stored for several months if they are kept in a cool, dry place.  It is essential to refrain from washing your squash and pumpkins until you are ready to use them.  Washing them prior to this will shorten their storage life.

Another storage option is freezing your squash.  Simply cook and mash it.  Be sure to label your storage container so that you use up any frozen goods in a timely manner.  Chunks of cooked squash can also be pressure canned.  If you are planning to preserve using a pressure canner, be sure to follow the latest recommendations at www.ag.ndsu.edu/food

You can also use the seeds from your squash and pumpkins!  After baking or cooking your squash or pumpkin, remove the seeds, rinse them with water, and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Preheat your oven to 300 F.  Place the seeds in a bowl and add a small amount of canola oil and stir.  You can then sprinkle the seeds with seasoning salt, Cajun spice, or a spice of your choice.  Bake the seeds for 45 minutes, stirring them every 15 minutes until they are golden brown.  This is just one more delicious way to get more out of your pumpkins and squash.

Below is a simple 2 ingredient pumpkin recipe that is sure to be a favorite at your holiday get togethers.  Enjoy!

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins


  • 1 (15-ounce) spice cake mix
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • Optional topping: ½ tsp. sugar per muffin


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer for about two minutes or beat by hand. Grease or spray muffin tin cups or use paper liners. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full. The batter is thick, so use a knife to smooth the top of the batter. If desired, sprinkle the top of each muffin with ½ teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a knife or toothpick comes out clean


Makes: 18 servings.  Each serving contains 110 calories, 3 grams of fat, 160 mg of sodium, 19 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, and 2 grams protein.



  • NDSU Extension Service Food Wise, November 2017 Newsletter
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