But pumpkins aren’t just for scary faces.
This winter squash packs a powerhouse of nutritional goodness and healing properties in its flesh and seeds, and it tastes great!
Pumpkin is chock-full of carotenoids, such as beta carotene and alpha carotene. Loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, you’ll get a mouthful of potassium, magnesium, selenium, and lutein in every bite, plus a good dose of vitamins A, C, and E.
And let’s not forget about those seeds!
Eating pumpkin has been linked to a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, and the natural anti-inflammatory properties of this food aid in fighting asthma and arthritis. Pumpkin also helps maintain fluid balance, regulate blood pressure, modulate the immune system, and prevent cataracts and arteriosclerosis. A digestive aid, pumpkin soothes the stomach and decreases bloating and flatulence.
If you are going to eat your pumpkin and not just carve it, choose a smaller one that is bright orange in color.
Here are some ideas for using your pumpkin:
- Serve cubed or mashed pumpkin with a little butter and nutmeg or maple syrup.
- Pump up soups and stews by adding some cooked cubed pumpkin.
- Use pumpkin puree in smoothies, pudding, pie, or dips for a rich smooth taste.
- Add it to muffins, cakes, and breads to enrich their fiber and nutrient content and produce moist, delicious baked goods.
- Eat pumpkin seeds as a snack, toss them on salads, stir into hot or cold cereals, or add to baked goods for extra crunch.