We carve pumpkins or paint faces on them for the amusement of others, but are there other uses? Well, pumpkins make great additions to recipes, but they aren’t guaranteed to be low fat meals. What people don’t know is that eating pumpkin on its own gives the best nutritional value and taste.
Pumpkins have been around for a long time. Native Americans used pumpkins for both food and materials. Long strips of pumpkin were dried and used to weave mats. Some was dried for the pumpkin version of beef jerky.
Pumpkins are highly nutrition by themselves. Eaten fresh from the pumpkin, the fruit provides zero cholesterol, less than 100 calories, and low sodium. When we add sugar, eggs, butter, and other ingredients, our pumpkin recipes get heavy and calorie laden.
Pumpkin can be pureed and added to recipes like muffin mixes and cakes without extra calories. The trick is to substitute the butter for applesauce and liquid oil to flavor the batter. Pumpkin puree can be given to babies to boost their intake of Vitamin C.
Speaking of Vitamin C, pumpkin contains large amounts of the antioxidant beta-carotene. It aids in giving the pumpkin its deep orange color. We have heard about the benefits of antioxidants. They work to reduce the signs of aging and various diseases.
When pumpkin is a part of a healthy diet, supplements are not necessary. Eating a piece of pumpkin a day is just as effective as an apple. If bananas are not the tastiest way to gain your potassium, try eating some pumpkin. It contains over 500 milligrams of potassium per serving.
Pumpkins have endured their own bit of folk remedy over the years. People believe that pumpkin would reduce the appearance of freckles or eliminate them all together. It was also a remedy for snake bites.
Many creams include pumpkin as an ingredient. That probably has more to do with its antioxidant properties than the healthy qualities of the fruit.
Pumpkins seeds are removed when a pumpkin is hollowed out. Instead of throwing them away, clean the seeds off and roast them with a little bit of salt. Pumpkin seeds make a quick snack to eat on the go or when kids are watching television and get the munchies. The nutritional value is higher than eating a bowl of popcorn.
Without all of the extra sugars and fats, eating pumpkin is healthy. Whether eaten alone or in a recipe, it provides nutrients that benefit the human body.