It’s fall, which means you can’t turn a corner without seeing pumpkins – both fresh and canned. But aside from carving a scary face and baking up a delicious pie, what else can you do with this bulbous, bright orange vegetable? Glad you asked.
Nothing so vividly illustrates the best of the fall harvest like pumpkins. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for large melon: pepon. Nasalized into “pompon” by the French, then changed to “pumpion” by the British, the word “pumpkin” was coined by early American colonists, who learned how to grow and cook these bright orange beauties from Native American tribes.
Cooking with fresh pumpkin is easy and fun. Just follow these simple preparation tips, or use organic canned pumpkin to make this delicious Tortellini with Pumpkin Sage Sauce.
You know you should be eating healthy, balanced meals made up of nutrient-packed superfoods. But the foods you aspire to eat don’t always make their way onto your plate. Here’s a handy guide of the five healthy foods you should eat more often – and how to prepare them.
Do you like pie? (Who doesn’t?) If so, you’ll love our Vita Video of the Week, which highlights the features of one of our favorite products…
After the trick-or-treaters have come and gone, what can you do with those leftover pumpkins? Here are six different uses for pumpkin parts, from seeds and flesh to the pumpkin shell itself:
1. Pumpkin planter: Turn your scary jack-o-lantern into a festive fall planter – just fill partway with potting soil and add the plant of your choice. Keep as decoration (until the pumpkin goes bad) or plant in the ground right away.
2. Baked goods: First, whip up some pumpkin puree by cutting your pumpkin in half, scooping out the seeds and guts (the stringy parts), and placing the pumpkin in a shallow baking dish. Add a cup of water to the dish and bake for 90 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the innards are moist and soft. Scoop out the flesh and blend in a food processor. Use your pumpkin puree for pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, breads, pies and more!
3. Pumpkin butter: The innards of your pumpkin are the perfect base for a delicious butter. Follow the steps above to make pumpkin puree, then add 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of apple cider and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger) to taste. Add the ingredients to a saucepan and simmer for 25 minutes. Spread on bread or fruit for a flavorful breakfast!
4. Colorful bowls: Cut down your carved pumpkins into bowl shapes, brush them with a small amount of vegetable oil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes to make beautiful bowls for a special dinner, or to use in a centerpiece.
5. Seed snack: Save those pumpkin seeds to use in a delicious and healthy trail mix or as a topping for salads. Simply rinse the seeds, brush them with oil and bake them for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. If you desire, top them with butter, salt, spices or sugar before baking.
6. Pet food: If your pup has digestion issues or is overweight, add a small scoop of pumpkin puree to his food dish to support healthy digestion, provide fiber and other nutrients, and keep him feeling full.
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