The Great Pumpkin
Halloween has passed, but that doesn’t mean pumpkin season is over. More than just for carving, this fall favorite finds its way into healthy and nutritious meals, additions to salads and stews, and of course the staple of holiday season desserts, pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are rich in vitamins A and C, loaded with protein and packed in fiber. Pumpkin purée is the most common use from the inside flesh and is very easy to process and make from scratch. Make sure to get fresh baking pumpkins that are used for recipes, not decoration. You can refrigerate the puree for up to 5 days and freeze for up to 6 months.
Don’t forget the seeds…Wash them, bake them, and lightly salt them for a delicious snack. Also known as “pepitas,” these little beauties contain healthy fats as well as protein, fiber, potassium, iron and zinc. Health benefits come from the diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds due to the levels of vitamin E and the variety of forms of vitamin E present in the seed.
Pumpkins are now in season through Fall and partially through the winter. Utilize your pumpkin purchase to make great additions to your home, garden and holiday decorations. Create the perfect party conversation piece with serving bowls made from pumpkins. Be environmentally friendly during the fall by using your pumpkin as a planter for several weeks then plant directly into your garden to decompose. Un-carved pumpkins can last up to 3 months and make excellent decorations for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This wonderful signature squash has triggered even more creative uses for cooking, decorations, home and garden pieces, recreation with carving and chunking competitions and even health and beauty items with pumpkin-integrated skin cream products. Pumpkins come in all different shapes and sizes, have interesting skin textures, provide nutrient-rich ingredients, and are cultivated for a variety of reasons from agricultural purposes to commercial and ornamental sales. Our beloved pumpkin will always evolve in its uses and provoke our emotions for the holiday season.