Pumpkins aren’t just for carving. Eating the flesh and the seeds can be very beneficial to you. Read on for more information about this season’s trendiest vegetable and ways to eat it that aren’t in pie form.
Why is it beneficial?
Pumpkins are a vibrant orange which means they contain beta carotene. This is good for your eye health and for preventing cancer. They’re also plentiful in fiber which is why you get so full eating it! This fiber will help keep your gut happy and can help you reduce snacking by keeping you full longer. A pumpkin’s vitamin C will help your immune system this season, and it’s seeds have healthy fats to keep your skin glowing. Eating pumpkin seeds can also protect your heart health with their phytosterols.
When are they in season?
Fall, of course! Pumpkins are the epitome of fall festivities. You can find pumpkins from September to November.
How long will they keep?
Pumpkins will last for weeks uncarved and stored in a dry, cool place out of direct sunlight. Once cut, you will want to cook it right away to maintain its flavor. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
How can I prepare it?
Pumpkin can be very versatile. Many pumpkin baked goods require pumpkin puree. Learn how to make your own here. Using a pie or sugar pumpkin for baking and cooking is generally better than large carving pumpkins. They have more flesh and are smaller and easier to work with. Here are some healthy pumpkin recipes to inspire you:
- Cut the pumpkin into cubes. Cover with oil and season with salt, pepper, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.
- Roast the pumpkin like above, but with just salt and pepper. Blend the pumpkin with a clove of garlic, thyme, and milk to make a creamy pumpkin soup.
- Make this easy pumpkin loaf.
- Or these healthy pumpkin scones.
You can always add your pumpkin puree to oatmeal, protein shakes, smoothies, pancake batter, etc. The possibilities are endless! Share your pumpkin creations with us on Facebook or tag us in your photos on Instagram, @weeklyfig.