Yes, they’re everywhere, but what would fall be without them? After all, this member of the squash family is an autumn superstar: they adorn outdoor steps, are carved and/or decorated for Halloween, and seem ever-present at festivals. But in addition to their more whimsical nature, what else is there to know about this primarily-orange vegetable?
Here are some trivia tidbits.
- Giant pumpkins can weigh in excess of 1,000 pounds.
- Most of this nation’s pumpkins are available in the month of October.
- Not only are pumpkins edible, but their flowers can also be consumed (hmm, maybe dipped in egg, flour, and then fried in olive oil?).
- Pumpkins are native to North America, and cousin seeds can be traced back thousands of years.
- Pumpkin pie is a feature dessert on Thanksgiving, perhaps because early settlers regularly consumed a heated version of the squash with honey and spices.
- Pumpkins are popular throughout the world.
- Pumpkins contain a high degree of water, therefore, if using in recipes (such as pumpkin pie), refrigerate to avoid bacteria growth.
- Some veterinarians recommend feeding cooked pumpkin to pets, particularly if they seem to be experiencing stomach distress.
- Pumpkins are low in calories, high in potassium, contain only a negligible amount of fat, and possess vitamin C, fiber, iron, and calcium.
- The subtle flavor of pumpkin makes it very versatile. It can be included in soups, stews, drinks, side dishes, breads, pies, muffins, and a medley of other culinary delights (like cookies!).
- Native Americans used pumpkins for medicinal purposes, eating, and even dried out to make mats.
- The State of Illinois is alleged to be the pumpkin capital.
- Some researchers have suggested that pumpkin extract may aid Type-1 diabetes.
- The seeds from pumpkins are edible and contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.
- Pumpkin seed oil contains essential fatty acids.
Okay, as you can see, there’s not much to dislike about pumpkins. They’re fun, good for you, and have even become illustrious stars in books and movies (e.g., Cinderella, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Harry Potter).
So, forget about smashing them, why waste something so enjoyable?