The first order of business being pumpkins. I love seeing them in the store because for me its one of the first indications that "the holidays" are just around the corner. And, as most of you know, I am a Christmas freak.
I, also, enjoy carving them, and I especially love the seeds.
Growing up, however, the only pumpkins I consumed were the ones I dug out of the Harvest Mix. Like, most things I hate and don't eat...I have a story about why. Basically, I was forced to eat a piece of pumpkin pie at a very young age by a friend of my parents. First of all, I hate pie. Not just pumpkin pie, but all pie. Secondly, I think pie in general, and especially pumpkin pie, is a pretty adult dessert. At any rate, the whole experience was a bad one, and it set the tone for the next 20 years or so.
Even though I still hate pie, I have grown to savor the flavor of pumpkins. And, they just happen to be super good for you. Not only is pumpkin loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly alpha and beta-carotenes, it’s a good source of vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron. Half a cup of canned pumpkin has 3.5 grams of fiber. All this, AND zero cholesterol! Which is great news for your immune system and can also help prevent heart disease and cancer!
The seeds are also worth snackin' on. Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are loaded with minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. They seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect, and may even help protect against prostate cancer and osteoporosis. A quarter cup has 1.5 grams of fiber.
- Pumpkins are the largest fruit in the world, and are 90% water.
- The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon." "Pepon" was changed by the French into "pompon." The English changed "pompon" to "Pumpion." American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin."
- The ‘Pumpkin Capital of the World’ is Morton, Illinois. Home of Libby’s pumpkin industry.
- Although pumpkins are usually orange or yellow, some are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray.