Mention “pumpkin” to a child and they’ll likely picture the perfect Jack-o’-Lantern glowing on the front porch steps. For adults, mouths water over a fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie gracing the Thanksgiving table.
But pumpkins are one of the most versatile varieties of winter squash. Their thick, bright-colored skins made them the choice for Cinderella’s enchanted coach, but also serve well as punch bowls for autumn-themed gatherings, and “flower pots” for mums, pansies and ornamental cabbage displays on the front porch or to add visual interest and extend the growing season in the courtyard garden.
As for edible options, the pumpkin is a power-packed source of fiber, protein, B vitamins, antioxidants and more, making it an important part of a healthy diet. Pumpkins contain a high level of beta-carotene, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and also is believed to delay the aging process.
Not one for waste? You’ll love the pumpkin, whose pulpy flesh is wonderful for use in soups and stews, pies and breads, as well as jams and spreads, to name a few. Visit www.bhg.com/thanksgiving/recipes/pumpkin-recipes for pumpkin-inspired treats for use at every meal!
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of protein, iron and B vitamins, providing a nutritious, crunchy snack that can replace high-sodium, empty-calorie munchable treats around the holidays.
After separating the seeds from the pumpkin flesh, rinse in a colander, then spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes in the oven, pre-heated to 300 degrees.
Remove them from the oven and toss them in olive oil, then mix with your favorite spices and bake for an additional 20 minutes for a delectable snack. While tradition calls for tossing in sea salt, to maintain the low-sodium properties of the seeds, you may prefer one of these tempting options:
- cinnamon and sugar
- garam masala (serve with currants after roasting)
- paprika (serve with slivered almonds)
- grated Parmesan and dried oregano
- brown sugar, chili powder and ground cumin
(Pumpkin seed spice suggestions courtesy of Food Network)
Homes in our Windsong active retirement communities feature patios, porches and courtyards that provide the perfect canvas for pumpkin displays; and our open floor plans with elegant and usable kitchen layouts offer the opportunity to prepare a meal and visit with guests without missing a moment. Best of all, our home designs minimize hassles with low-maintenance exteriors, maximize accessibility and provide countless opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle without sacrificing style or luxury.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!