Sunday, October 4, 2009

Health Benefits of PUMPKIN

Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin.
Simone Schwarz-Bart

This time of year, we go a little pumpkin crazy at our house. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pasta, muffins, and on it goes. We look forward to it all year and savor the smells and special foods through November. Right now I have a huge tray of pumpkins and squash on our dinner table--a pumpkin bouquet.

There's a lot more to pumpkins than good looks and flavor. Pumpkins are indigenous to the US and were once a Native American staple. Nutritionally, they're packed with good stuff like vitamins A and C, B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, and folate, among other nutrients. They're said to be good for blood sugar metabolism and provide immune support.

We like organic sugar pie pumpkins and have been buying them at the Farmers' Market for the last two weeks. They're smaller and easier to carry and are sweet, flavorful, and go a long way for their size. One sugar pie pumpkin makes a small pot of soup or a pie or muffins for instance.

Buy pumpkins that are heavy for their size and solid with no soft spots. If you don't have time for fresh pumpkin dealings, Trader Joes has some great canned organic pumpkin (their cans are among the very few that are BPA free) for under two dollars that I use every year with great results in baking.


Unknown said...

great information, thank you! I heard that because of the early weather we may be seeing green pumpkins, are these edible too? I hate to see these pumpkins go to waste!

Eco Mama said...

Hi VHL, I have not seen any green pumpkins, but found this for you:

They say sometimes pumpkin will turn orange off the vine, but I've never tried this. Hope it helps!
Eco Mama

Unknown said...

Thank you Eco Mama, this is helpful...I saw news about a lot of pumpkin farmers having pumpkins that may never turn and will stay green so I was wondering if these would not go to waste...sound like you can still eat them. Thanks for the info!