Pumpkins: Not Just for Halloween

Share this post

By Heidi Lewis

While the glowering Mr. Jack O' Lantern will certainly do some face melting in the next week or two, inspiring investigation by the budding entomologists in your family, there is plenty more to be done with pumpkins than just turn them into doorstops. Most Halloween-variety carving pumpkins are also edible, but the smaller Sugar Pie varieties provide a sweeter and more mellow flesh and might be preferred for baking.

Pumpkins originated in Central America. Native Americans stripped, flattened, and dried their skins and wove them into mats. They would also roast them in open fires and use the seeds for medicine. The pilgrims were inspired by the Native Americans to fill pumpkins with milk, honey, and spices and roast them in hot coals, creating the first pumpkin pie!

Pumpkins are chock full of the antioxidant beta-carotene, as evidenced by their orange color. One cup of cooked pumpkin includes 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, plus calcium, potassium, iron, Vitamins A, C, and E, plus zinc, all for only 49 calories.

To cook: Pumpkins can be roasted, boiled, or microwaved. For the oven, cut pumpkin in half, clean inside, rinse in cold water and place face down on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for one hour or until fork tender. For microwave, clean inside, place face down and microwave on high for 15 minutes or until fork tender. For boiling, clean inside and then cut the pumpkin into large chunks, rinse in cold water, and then place in large pot with about a cup of water. Cover and boil for 20-30 minutes until fork tender. Reserve the liquid for a soup base if desired.

The puree: remove the peel when the flesh is cool enough to handle. Place the flesh in a food processor, food mill, or potato ricer to form a puree. Pumpkin puree freezes well and can be prepared in advance. Use as a substitute for any recipe calling for canned pumpkin.

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Diet and Health articles:

How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How to beat the winter blues
January 17, 2019
5 techniques for New Year’s resolutions you’ll keep
December 27, 2018
How to practice healthy holiday eating at the office
November 13, 2018
Simple ways to keep your skin safe
July 17, 2018
Everything you need to stay safe from ticks
July 5, 2018
Zero Balancing may be the best bodywork you’ve never heard of
July 3, 2018
Five healthy food trends to explore
April 17, 2018
Creating space for social connections at work is good for health and good for business.
February 15, 2018
The many ways chocolate can make your workday better
February 8, 2018

More recent articles:

Best onboarding practices
May 21, 2019
Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Food:
History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.