Fall is upon us and we are just 2 weeks from Halloween! The smell of Pumpkin Spice is filling up local coffee shops and bakeries. Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America. Native Americans planted pumpkin along with corn and beans as their main food sources. Once the colonists came to North America they took pumpkins and sliced off their tops, removed the seeds and filled the pumpkins with milk, spices and honey. This is believed to be one of the origins of Pumpkin Pie!
Pumpkins have also been used to decorate for Halloween. A very long time ago the Celtics celebrated a “Summer’s End” Festival held from sundown October 31st to sundown November 1st. They decorated with glowing jack o lanterns that were carved from turnips and guards. The decor was thought to protect against evil spirits. When the Irish came to North America they found the pumpkin suited their jack-o-lantern carvings better because they were bigger!
Pumpkin Fun Facts:
1. 1 cup of pumpkin has only 30 calories.
2. Contains Beta Carotene which are antioxidants that boost the immune system.
3. Contains potassium and Vitamin C.
4. Pumpkin Seeds contain Vitamin B, C, D, and K. They also contain calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
5. Pumpkin seeds have been used to treat prostate problems and bladder infections. They may help to clean out the kidneys.
6. Pumpkin Flowers are edible.
7. You can use the pumpkin shell as a decorative bowl for soups! Simply carve out the seeds and add your favorite heated soup and serve!
8. Pumpkin Seeds can be added to soups or salads for a delicious nutty flavor.