It’s that time of year when pumpkin is showing up in every dish imaginable, from pies and sweet bread to stews and ravioli. A winter fruit descending from the gourd family, pumpkin is packed with nutrients and applauded for its wide range of culinary capacity.
The sweet flesh of the pumpkin can be roasted, parched, steamed, baked, boiled, pureed and dried. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Those little seeds in the center, used as a form of medicine in some cultures, are packed with health benefits and are as versatile as the flesh in regards to eating.
If you need a few reasons to satiate your appetite with one of the season’s most gorgeous crops, look no further. We’ve got the scoop on pumpkin along with one-of-a-kind recipes that will knock your socks off!
Lifts The Spirits
Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of omega-3 fats, which help ward off depression and increase happiness. Combined with the right diet and lifestyle, indulging in those tiny gems will boost your mood and cure those winter blues.
Protects The Skin
Vitamin A, C, E and K are found in pumpkin, which help to soften skin and correct any damage produced by free radicals. For an easy at-home facial, rub a slice of fresh pumpkin onto your skin, after washing it with a cleanser, to reduce blackheads and dissolve dry skin cells.
Increases Restful Sleep
The L-Tryptophan in pumpkin seeds assists the body with serotonin and melatonin production, acting as a natural sleep aid. L-Tryptophan is also used as a remedy for depression and fatigue.
Heals The Heart
Magnesium helps to regulate blood pressure and protect the blood vessels. It acts as a natural blood thinner and is used to decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Beta-carotene, an antioxidant responsible for giving pumpkin its orange disposition, helps to maintain healthy eyesight and reduce the risk of eye infections. Antioxidant rich foods also delay the aging process and reverse memory loss.
Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of zinc and antioxidants, providing support to the immune system and reducing inflammation. They are also known to improve prostate health and prevent diabetic complications.
Enjoy some our favorite vegetarian pumpkin recipes!
Banana, Pumpkin and Almond Granola Bars
Chocolate Candy Bars with Pumpkin Seeds & Raisins
Warm Pumpkin and Coconut Muffins