Fall for Pumpkin
It’s October and we have winter squash on the mind! Pumpkins are especially popular at this time of year with Halloween just around the corner. Not only are pumpkins great for decorating, they are packed with nutrition and versatile for all sorts of dishes.
Pumpkin is not the only tasty seasonal squash. In fact, in most pumpkin recipes, you can substitute almost any other winter squash for delicious results. Often canned pumpkin contains butternut and other types of squash because their flesh in more orange. Almost all winter squash has the same nutrition and flavor profile, but there are exceptions. Read our guide to winter squash to learn about the winter squash we have available at the co-op and find meal ideas for the different varieties.
The health benefits of Pumpkin
> Pumpkins contain a significant amount of Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is important for your immune system, bone health and eyesight. It is also great for your skin. Beta-carotene is what makes pumpkins orange. It assists with your body’s absorption of Vitamin A, making the two a very nutritious compound.
> Pumpkins contain high amounts of fiber and potassium. Fiber aids in digestion and keeps you feeling full longer, and can benefit heart health. Potassium is also good for your heart as well as the kidneys, and can provide essential electrolytes after physical activity.
> Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, which is also found in your Thanksgiving turkey, and produces a calming effect.
Along with all of these nutrients, pumpkins have vitamin C to aid with the immune boost often needed at this time of year.
Pumpkins for Eating
Small pie pumpkins are the best for cooking with, they tend to be sweeter and have a thicker flesh. Because they are typically smoother than other types of pumpkin, they are much easier to peel. Jack-o-lantern style pumpkin are bred for carving and usually aren’t the best eating pumpkins.
Pumpkins and winter squash are excellent storage crops. So you can decorate your home with pie pumpkins and edible squash throughout October, and they’ll still be delicious and ready for cooking in November.
All of the local winter squash at the co-op are from Featherstone Farm in Rushford, MN.
Pumpkin Spice it Up!
To achieve that famous fall flavor, mix your own pumpkin spice! Pumpkin spice is easy to make and perfect for fall desserts, coffee drinks, pasta dishes and more. Mix the recipe below in a jar and store it in your spice cabinet until you’re ready to use it. This also makes a great gift!
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground clove
Our Favorite Ways to Eat Pumpkin