In our culture, pumpkins are a fruit of beauty! We grow them for size, decorations, and to be processed and canned. Who does not love this fruit’s breads, pies, or soups? They’re a staple in the crisp fall months!
Some Facts You Might Not Know About Pumpkins:
- They are the world’s largest fruits, even though most of us consider them veggies.
- They can grow to be over 1000 pounds, when they are grown with special care.
- They are over 90% water.
- A 5 pound pumpkin will yield about 4 ½ cups of puree, and a 16 oz can will yield about 2 cups of puree.
- They take 4 months to grow, until they are ready to be picked.
- They are mainly grown to be processed.
- The pumpkin capital of the World is Morton, Illinois, where the Libby plant is located.
- 80% of the supply in the USA is available in October.
- One cup cooked is only 49 calories, so it is a low calorie treat!
- Costco pies should be divided into 16ths, and not 8ths for proper portioning. An eighth of a Costco pie will run you a whopping 431 calories!
- They are quite famous. Who has not longed to ride in Cinderella’s pumpkin chariot, or watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?”
Tips for Using Pumpkins:
- Roasting your own Pumpkin seeds is a must.
- Home-made puree is simple. It can be made by baking your pumpkin first in the oven or microwave, and then placing the pulp in your blender, mixer, or food processor, until it is smooth.
- Puree can be added to your pancakes, cheesecakes, cookies, cakes, pies, bars, breads, custards, or any sweet treat you can imagine.
- Puree can be included in your dinner menus in soups, chilies, stews, fritters, pastas, or lasagnas!
- Fill a sugar pumpkin with your favorite stew recipe, and bake it for a couple of hours, until it is tender. Serve the stew and scoop out a bit of the pumpkin with it. This makes a trendy pot luck addition that is sure to be talked about.
- Puree can be added to baked goods as a substitute for the fat. Recipes vary. Some people recommend using half as much as the oil, others recommend using the same amount as the oil, and still others recommend doubling the amount compared to the oil, as this will produce a product that is less rubbery. Experiment away!
Sneaking more pumpkin into your meals is a healthy diet habit in the fall season! They are a tasty and filling treat, as well as a fun decoration!