Pumpkin for Every Occasion

By Ken Kudra

In North America, pumpkins refer specifically to a certain type of squash that is normally orange in color. In many parts of the world, they call any winter squash a pumpkin. Did you know that there are many uses for traditional pumpkins besides carving them for Halloween or making pumpkin pie?

Both the pumpkin seeds and the flesh are completely edible. The seeds are a great source for zinc in your diet. They can be roasted and enjoyed as a snack or as an addition to yogurt, breads, cereals and lots more. Anyone who has tasted butternut squash or pumpkin pie will have an idea of what pumpkin tastes like. It makes a great sweet or savory dish.

Roast a whole pumpkin when you want to make a big impression. Use pumpkin to make seasonal sweet breads everyone will rave about. Drop in a few cranberries to add more holiday flavor. Use pumpkin butter on your toast in the morning or add some to your granola and yogurt in the morning. Drop in a few toasted seeds while you are at it.

Make pumpkin into cupcakes, muffins, and cakes. Pour the batter into a jellyroll pan to make a flat cake. Use cream cheese filling and roll it up for a yummy pumpkin roll. Pumpkin cheesecake is a common fall offering in many restaurants and grocery stores. Try making your own instead... it is not difficult. Use pumpkin in cookies and puddings to add more of this tasty vegetable to your diet.

Classic pumpkin soup is a delicious way to enjoy pumpkin. The creamy goodness is a great appetizer or you can make it a complete meal. Add some spices, or make it with roasted pumpkin to add even more flavor. Top it off with some chopped herbs or a swirl of sour cream to make it look as wonderful as it tastes.

Add pumpkin chunks to your pasta or rice dishes. Pumpkin risotto is delicious. Pumpkin filling can be added to homemade ravioli for a new twist on pasta. Make it as a vegetable side dish by mixing it with other vegetables like fennel or peas. Add it to polenta and cover with cheese for a new taste. These savory dishes are full of beta-carotene and other vitamins. They are a great way to add these essential nutrients to your meals in a flavorful way.

Add pumpkin to your morning by making pumpkin donuts, muffins, scones, and pancakes. Serve your pancakes with whipped topping or syrup. Pumpkin is so versatile it works equally well with sweet or savory. Mix up the flavors by adding crumbled bacon bits to your pancake batter.

If you like dessert but you want something a little less sweet, try pumpkin ice cream or tarts. Adding pumpkin to your meal helps your family get the flavor of the season and get all their nutrition at the same time. Give the humble pumpkin a try. - 29857

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