I know, I know………..I can hear your cries of protest……..
“Halloween is AGES away yet!”
Yes it sure is, and I’m never one to look too far into the future. I find focusing on the now to be most effective point of focus. The ‘now’ being – September. Which for me (and all of us north of the equator) means the ‘fall’ or autumn is heading our way.
Accompanying a shift in season is a shift in food availability – good foods that is! (fruits and vegetables to be precise)
The change is only very slight and doesn’t affect the majority of our produce availability (thankfully). Staple fruits and veggies are available year-round, thanks to global farming. Even though popular examples such as: Cauliflower, Cabbage and Blueberries are still seasonal at their core, global farming allows us to ‘tuck in’ to these nutrient powerhouses all year round! Which is great!
But for some more eccentric and less accessible produce, seasonal availability governs our access……….alas!
Pumpkins are a prime example!
When did you last see Pumpkins on sale at your local grocery store?
I’d be shocked if you could even remember!
That’s because this variation of winter squash is relegated to only being sold in the autumn season. BUT, let’s not dwell on that fact. Instead, let’s embrace the good news: They are available NOW! (emphasis of present focus)
How about a quick Q&A for you?
Have you ever eaten a Pumpkin?
Have you ever decorated a Pumpkin?
My answers are; yes and yes. But up until literally last week, my answer would’ve been no to the first question! How about you?
They’re just one of those foods that never really gets much consideration in terms of actually being eaten. I know as well as anyone; carving up your own ‘Jack O’ Lantern’ and sticking/lighting a candle in the center is serious fun! (See the picture at the end of the post)
But allow me to bring the concept of eating Pumpkin to your attention………….
I think the nutritional facts will at the very least, intrigue you. It’s very probable that those of you reading this are health and diet conscious to some degree. No doubt you’re aware of weight-loss friendly foods. If not, here are some basic properties of foods to get friendly with if weight loss and improved health are on your radar:
- They are nutrient dense
- They are fibrous
- They are low in sugar (processed sugar is what I’m referencing, NOT natural sugar!)
- They are low in carbohydrates
- They are low on the Glycemic index – thus not spiking your blood sugar unnecessarily
Base your food choices on those principles and you’ll never go wrong.
So could we place Pumpkins in our newly formed category??
Here’s an outline of the Pumpkins great properties:
- Perilously rich in vitamin A
- A solid source of potassium
- Only 26 calories per 100 grams
- Only 6 grams of carbs per 100 grams!
One observation that can be made instantly is – here is a food which can be consumed in decent and generous amounts whilst still adhering to any possible calorie restrictions or carbohydrate restrictions!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll hate seeing food on your plate with plenty of visible plate surface area still available!
Yes, I have a BIG appetite!
Foods such as Pumpkins allow you to eat more volume of food without breaking your diet or nutritional boundaries.
What about taste?
It tastes slightly creamy (in my opinion) maybe ever so slightly ‘nutty’ – it isn’t as sweet as it’s cousin the Butternut squash, which I dissected in this article (a must read guide to fruits and veggies!) However, it’s still a pleasure to unite your tongue with. Remember to cook your Pumpkin with the skin ON as this preserves the nutrients available (much like Potatoes)
My preferred cooking method is oven baked with the skin intact. Oh and with a nice layer of cinnamon sprinkled on top (Bonus tip!)
Cooking time varies on oven efficiency, but they will be more than ready after 40 minutes in the oven at 160 degrees!
So this autumn, instead of buying one pumpkin to decorate and create your very own Jack O’ Lantern, why not buy an extra one for dinner too?
Regular readers to my blog will know I am a big publicist of ‘underground’ superfoods and all round health boosting food options, much like my article on purple majesty potatoes
The Pumpkin, another food that often eludes acknowledgement
Let’s interact! Have you ever eaten Pumpkin? Will you try it this autumn?
Before we conclude, Here is a self made Jack O’Lantern from a Halloween or two ago:
I know mention of Halloween is premature, but as I’m sure you now realize…………..Pumpkins are for more than just decoration.