Pumpkins are part of the Cucurbitaceae family along with squash, cucumbers, watermelon, and gourds. Long before they were carved into spooky jack-o-lanterns, they were made into bowls and used as storage for grains and beans. Pumpkins are made up of 90% water, contain more fiber than kale, and are rich in tons of vitamins and minerals! Beta carotene gives pumpkins their orange color and makes them a good source of vitamin A to help with vision and immunity. Roast, blend, puree, use in soups, bake, and don’t forget to roast pumpkin seeds for a snack and even place on top of oatmeal or yogurt!
PUMPKIN SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE
•Pumpkin pie spice contains cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, all of which have health benefits
•Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, omega 6 fatty acids, tryptophan, fiber, poly and mono unsaturated fatty acids
•Pumpkins have a high content of vitamin C which helps to maintain healthy skin, teeth, and bones, and helps absorb iron.
Look for one that is completely orange. Pumpkins that are partially green might not ripen any further. Keep in mind that medium sized pumpkins are best for carving while smaller ones are best for cooking. A ripe pumpkin has a hard shell that does not dent or scratch easily. Examine the entire pumpkin carefully for soft spots and test it by pressing on the back or bottom of the fruit, never on the face.