By FWx Editors
Updated September 22, 2014
© Phoebe Lapine

Pumpkin spice lattes, beers, doughnuts, Oreos, even potato chips—on this first day of fall we seem poised to enter an era of peak pumpkin. But what tends to get lost in the shuffle of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange food coloring is actual pumpkin. Cooks who dismiss fresh pumpkins as impossible to prepare, watery and flavorless are wrong, or at least they’re wrong when it comes to green market sugar pumpkins and other varieties grown for eating.

Here are five recipes that will let you take advantage of the real thing alongside those addictive shots of artificial flavor.

Red Curry Roasted Pumpkin

This simple side takes 10 minutes of prep and your oven does the rest.

Candied Pumpkin

A real pumpkin dessert that does not involve pie? You bet. Yet these sweet pumpkin pieces would also be delicious à la mode or with whipped cream.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

This salad is hearty enough for a light meal, and the yogurt-based dressing is also super healthy.

Miso Pumpkin Wedges

The salty miso and sweet pumpkin pair perfectly together.

Sriracha–Roasted Pumpkin Seeds