Nutrition-wise blog

Pumpkins are good for more than carving

By Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. October 24, 2012

When you think about pumpkins, you probably think Halloween jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin pie. But there are other ways to use pumpkins. They can grace doorsteps or be part of a centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table.

Pumpkins are so much more than decorations, though. They're packed with antioxidants and nutrients. The pulp is an abundant source of vitamin A and the seeds full of zinc.

You can eat any pumpkin, but the smaller pumpkins — often referred to as pie or sugar pumpkins — are sweeter. Wash and then cut pumpkin in half. Remove and reserve the seeds. At this point, you can microwave or bake the pumpkin halves to make it easier to remove the skin and cut up the flesh. Then try these creative ways to enjoy pumpkin:

  • Roast with other squash or root vegetables
  • Dice and add to soups or stews
  • Roast and puree to use in lasagna or as ravioli filling
  • Toast the seeds and eat as a snack or use as toppings for soups and salads

Where will your pumpkin be this autumn? On the table as a centerpiece or taking center stage on your dinner menu? Please share your best pumpkin recipes to inspire others.

To your health,


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Oct. 24, 2012