November 21, 2008

Thinking About Pumpkins


Interesting Pumpkin Facts.

*The word ‘pumpkin’ comes from the Greek word, ‘pepon’, which means a ‘large melon.’
*Pumpkins originated in Central America.
*Pumpkins are actually a fruit. Many people think it should be our national fruit.
*Pumpkin is really a squash. It is in the Curcurbita family along with squash and cucumbers.
*The yellow-orange flowers that bloom on the pumpkin vine are edible.
*Pumpkin seeds taste great roasted and contain medicinal properties.
*Native Americans grew and ate pumpkins and its seeds long before the Pilgrims reached this continent. Pilgrims learned how to grow and prepare pumpkins from the Native Americans.
*Pumpkin was most likely served at the first Thanksgiving feast celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1620.
*The earliest pumpkin pie made in America was quite different than the pumpkin pie we enjoy today. Pilgrims and early settlers made pumpkin pie by hollowing out a pumpkin, filling the shell with milk, honey and spices and baking it.
*Early settlers dried pumpkins shells, cut it into strips and wove it into mats.
*Pumpkin has been prepared in a variety of ways from soups to stews to desserts since the immigration of the first European settlers.
The ‘Pumpkin Capital of the World’ is Morton, Illinois. Home of Libby’s pumpkin industry.
*The state of Illinois grows the most pumpkins. It harvests about 12,300 acres of pumpkins annually.
*Pumpkins were formerly considered a remedy for freckles and snakebites.
*Natural medicine practitioners have proven that consuming pumpkin seeds reduces the risk of prostrate disorders in men.

How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Roasting pumpkin seeds is fast and simple. Here’s how:

1. Scrape the innards out of your pumpkin into a bowl.
2. Use your fingers to separate the seeds from the pulp and throw the pulp away.
3. Rinse the seeds. The best way to do this is to pour all the seeds into a colander and run it under the faucet.
4. Pour the seeds and 2 tablespoons of oil onto a cookie sheet. Shake it gently to coat the seeds with oil.
5. Use a salt shaker to lightly salt the seeds.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes, taking them out and flipping with a spatula occasionally.
7. Let the seeds sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are cool. Then they are ready to enjoy.

Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds
The nutritional value of pumpkin seeds is very significant. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of omega-3 acid, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, protein, zinc, and vitamin K. They also contain phytosterols suggested to lower cholesterol and promote heart health.

Medicinal Properties of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds have a centuries-old history of being used as natural healing foods. Conditions such as arthritis, depression, cancer, osteoporosis, and kidney stones are shown to respond to pumpkin seeds. They also have natural anti-inflammatory properties, promote bladder function, and improve prostate health. For our goat friends pumpkin seeds is promoted to have natural deworming properties.

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