Powerful Pumpkin – An Autumn Superfood!
It’s October and Halloween is almost upon us, it’s time for carving pumpkins into Jack-o’-lanterns ready to celebrate on the 31st! The original Jack-o’-lanterns were said to have been made by the Irish from potatoes and turnips with gourds and pumpkins also being used.
While the typical jagged toothed face is the traditional carving we all know and love, lots of elaborate designs are also possible if you have an artistic hand! During carving, the flesh and seeds are taken out of the pumpkin, but don’t throw them away! Pumpkin is one of nature’s Superfoods, with so many health benefits:
Something for Everyone
Whether you’re partial to pie, craving for cake or satisfied with soup, pumpkin can be used in so many recipes or it can be added as a hidden ingredient for a vitamin boost for fussy kids. Roast it, simmer it and toast the seeds, every part of the inside of pumpkin can be used. Be sure to keep the temperature low when toasting the seeds (around 165 Fahrenheit or 75 Celsius for 20 minutes should do the trick) to keep those healthy oils inside this addictive snack! If you don’t feel like tackling a whole pumpkin, then worry not, canned pumpkin is just as nutritious and delicious!
Pumpkin is recognized for its distinctive orange color which is caused by the presence of Beta Carotene which you’ve probably heard is also found in carrots! Beta Carotene is converted by your body to Vitamin A which it’s vital for the health of your eyes and can also prevent coronary heart disease. You’ll also benefit from Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron, Copper, Potassium, Folate and more. The seeds are packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, fiber, antioxidants as well as Omega Three and Six fatty acids, making it worthwhile to spend the time to lightly toast them to add to soups, yogurt, ground into smoothies or simply enjoyed seasoned on their own as a snack!
Pumpkin contains something for your whole body with positive benefits for:
- Blood Pressure
- Immune System
- Digestive System
Pumpkin Fun Facts
- Pumpkins can be found on all continents except for Antarctica
- Pumpkins take 90 to 120 days to grow
- Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins in the United States
- The Guinness World Record for the heaviest pumpkin is held by Belgium for a giant at 1,190.49 kg
- Pumpkins belong to the same family as cucumbers, gourds and squash, the Cucurbitaceae family
Easy Peasy Pumpkin Smoothie
By blending just a few ingredients you can enjoy a perfect pumpkin start to your day!
- Pumpkin Puree (fresh or canned)
- Thick Greek Yogurt (or dairy free for a Vegan version!)
- Almond Milk
- Honey (or maple syrup)
- Ground Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg for a pumpkin spice twist!
Decide for yourself which ratios of each ingredient you’d like to use (just be careful with those spices as they can easily overpower the more delicate ingredients, a pinch of each will be enough), we can guarantee any combination will be delicious! Add your mix to a blender, blend with or without ice and enjoy! Top with Pumpkin seeds or add them to your mix for an extra Vitamin boost!