October is a favorite month for many, especially if you love Halloween. Autumn is the time of year when pumpkins are abundant and play an integral role in decorating and ingredients. If you enjoy their flavor and pleasant scent, did you ever wonder about their health benefits?
Pumpkin is a type of winter squash in the same plant family as cucumbers and melons. It’s considered a fruit because it has seeds. There are several varieties, based on size and use, from cooking to decorating. Most of the pumpkin we consume is canned. It is nutrient dense with one cup providing 3 grams of protein, 209% of the daily value of vitamin A as well as fiber and antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are often roasted and contain 4 grams of protein, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
It is most popular in baked goods, such as pies, cookies, muffins and pancakes. Pumpkin is also prepared in soups, as a base or roasted with vegetables. It is usually available pre-cut or canned. When purchasing canned, read labels carefully and look for 100% pumpkin. Pepitas make an excellent salad topping or a healthy addition to your favorite trail mix recipe. I wouldn’t recommend cooking the jack-o’-lantern due to its large size resulting in a stringy texture and less flavor. Besides it’s been sitting around for a while which negatively impacts food safety.
Are you searching for a fun, family event this fall? There is nothing better than Saturday in a pumpkin patch, snapping photos and getting lost in a corn maze. Check out some of our local area options and plan your own pumpkin palooza!!!
Kirkwood Farmers Market located at 150 E Argonne Dr, Kirkwood, MO. The fall season includes the great pumpkin patch kids fall fun zone, mum patch and fall market.
Stuckmeyer’s Farm located at 249 Schneider Dr, Fenton, MO. October the farm features Halloween farm fun days.
Daniel’s Farm and Greenhouses located at 352 Jungermann Rd, St. Peter’s MO. During the month of October this plant and garden center transforms into an autumn celebration.