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Lynn DiTaranto Posted by:

Lynn DiTaranto, Department of Public Health.

 

Lynn is a Nutrition Education Specialist with DPH.

 

If you have ever eaten pumpkins, chances are canned pumpkin puree is what you are used to when creating delicious desserts such as pies, breads and other baked goods. But, what you might not know is that the sweet flesh of sugar, cheese or milk pumpkins can be prepared in a number of ways to produce homemade puree, soups, or side dishes. Pumpkin seeds are easy to roast and make tasty snacks too!

Pumpkins are 90% water and full of nutrients, just like many other fruits and vegetables! They are rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. It’s the perfect way to get your nutrients in the fall and winter months.

To prepare your pumpkin, cut it in half and spoon out the seeds and pulp. Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and peel. Boil the pumpkin for 25 minutes or until tender. Save the seeds and rinse them in cold water. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and stir them to coat. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until they are toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes. Let them cool and store in an air-tight container for a savory snack.

Check out the following websites for more recipes that include canned or fresh pureed pumpkin:

http://www.pumpkinnook.com/cookbook/recipe11.htm

http://allrecipes.com//HowTo/pumpkin-recipes/Detail.aspx

Have you ever baked, steamed, sautéed, grilled or boiled pumpkin before? Please let us know how you might add pumpkin in your recipes to warm you up on a cool fall day…

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