It’s October and it seems that everywhere welook there’s a pumpkin on display or at a neighbor’s doorstep…maybe our own doorstep! This year why not consider taking some pumpkin inside as well. Pumpkin is actually a very nutritious food to include in your diet!
*Keep in mind carving pumpkins are best for outdoors or decoration – buy smaller pie or baking pumpkins for recipes.
Pumpkin with its rich orange color is a good source of the antioxidant beta-carotene. A diet that is high in antioxidants may help decrease the risk of certain types of cancer.
Pumpkin is also a good source of fiber with 3g/cup cooked and is rich in potassium.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of the minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, and of protein as well.
Pumpkin seeds are also a source of phytosterols. Phytosterols have been shown to help lower cholesterol. They are used in certain margarine spreads and are touted as being heart healthy.
How to roast pumpkin seeds:
Cook in a single layer in oven for 15-20 minutes at 160-170 degrees F. The short time and low temperature will help preserve the healthy oils.
- Around 90 to 95% of the processed pumpkins in the United States are grown in Illinois.
- Pumpkins are used for feed for animals.
- Pumpkins are members of the vine crops family called cucurbits.
- Pumpkins originated in Central America.
- In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
- Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
- Pumpkin flowers are edible.
- Pumpkins are fruit.