Produce of the Week
As the weather gets colder, sweaters get thicker and leaves turn golder– perhaps, your stomach is craving something bolder. The big, bold, and beautiful pumpkin.
This gorgeous gourd is a staple food in October, from pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving to those ghoulish Jack O’Laterns for Halloween. Beyond that, the pumpkin has much more to offer, it is incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins.
Fun Fact: The largest pumpkin ever grown was 1,502 pounds on October 7, 2006.
Eating pumpkins fits well into a health-conscious diet. Pumpkins are low in calories and high in fiber. They are also low in sodium. The seeds are high in protein, iron, and the B vitamins.
Researchers believe pumpkins may reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers and is also believed to delay aging. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Source: All about Pumpkins
Pumpkins do best when the seeds are directly planted in the ground. If your growing season is very short, seed indoors in peat pots about 2 to 4 weeks before last spring frost.
Almost all the parts of the pumpkin plant; fruit, leaves, flowers and seeds, are edible. Pumpkins can be used in a variety of delicious recipes either baked, stewed, fried; however, it is best eaten after steamed in order to get maximum nutrients.
Pumpkin dishes are popular around the world, in China pumpkin leaves are consumed as cooked greens or in soups. In India, pumpkins are used in sweet desserts, soups, and curries.
Source: Nutrition Facts