Pumpkin

Carpinteria Pilates.
Tatiana’s Pilates in Carpinteria, CA.

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It’s Fall- time for winter squashes and pumpkins. For most of us pumpkin is the quintessential fall fruit that is very versatile in their uses for cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. It is a very popular Halloween and Thanksgiving staple and can be boiled, baked, steamed, roasted, mashed, even juiced raw. Pick a smaller sugar pumpkin- about the size of a small cantaloupe weighing about two pounds- not the oversize “jack-o-lantern” pumpkin.

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It is a very important, traditional part of the autumn harvest. Being really frugal foodies, we try to use all parts of a pumpkin. You can make juices, soups, purees, hot cereal (kashi), pies, custards, even ice cream. The main nutrients are lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene, which generates vitamin A in the body. It is the caratenoids that give a pumpkin its bright orange color.

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The leaves of the pumpkin plant are consumed as a cooked vegetable or in soups. The flowers are used to garnish dishes, may be battered then fried in oil. The small, flat, green, edible pumpkin seeds have many health benefits, as they are a good source of protein, zinc, and other vitamins, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and phytosterols.

Seeds are often roasted and eaten as a healthy snack. Pumpkin seed oil is great as a salad dressing, and is generally mixed with other oils because of its robust flavor. The oil contains essential fatty acids that help maintain healthy blood vessels, nerves and tissues. It’s even said to lower cholesterol and believed to be a folk remedy for prostate problems. The medicinal properties of pumpkin include anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory.

* Most pumpkins in the store are meant for jack-o-lanterns, not eating. For eating use an organically grown sugar pumpkin or a Japanese Kabocha pumpkin.
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Tatiana’s Pilates
929 Linden Avenue, Suite E, Carpinteria, CA 93013 •
805.284.2840 • info@tatianaspilates.com

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