Pumpkins Good Year ‘Round

What food comes to mind when you think of pumpkins?


“Pie,” of course. For many people, the only pumpkin they consume is a piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.Crates of pumpkins in the grocery store are a sure sign that autumn has arrived and Thanksgiving isn’t far off. Unfortunately, pumpkins completely disappear after Thanksgiving. In fact, it’s near impossible to find a fresh pumpkin after mid-November.

The good news is canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix with added sugars) may be even more healthful than fresh.

Canning shortly after harvest captures more vitamin A than you’ll receive from a store-bought pumpkin. Furthermore, canning makes pumpkin available all year long, so you don’t have to wait until autumn to enjoy it and reap the health benefits.

Joshy thinks pumpkins are FUN.

Foods like carrots, bell peppers, oranges, and sweet potatoes contain carotenoids. Pumpkins are a super-food, loaded in carotenoids. They have one of the richest supplies of carotenoids, containing both beta- and alpha-carotene. In addition, pumpkins have an abundance of disease fighting nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.

There’re lots of little known facts about pumpkins:

  • Pumpkins are fruit (the seeds grow on the inside), which we call squash.
  • Pumpkins come in white, green, tan, grey, blue, red, as well as orange.
  • Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
  • 80 percent of the pumpkin supply in the U.S. is available in October.
  • Cooked pumpkin (not the sugar that’s added to pies) is not only good for you, but your dog, too.
  • Average pumpkins have about 1 cup of seeds.
  • The flowers, seeds, and pulp of the pumpkin are edible.

The next time pumpkins are mentioned, think about soups, stews, cookies, muffins, cakes, fruit smoothies, pancakes, breads, puddings, nut breads, seeds, and of course pies. These dishes aren’t only more delicious with pumpkin, but even a persnickety picky eater won’t detect the nutrition value has been greatly improved when pumpkin is added!


For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

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