All Simple Vegetable Recipes

Giant Pumpkin Seeds Cooking

Most Americans think of pumpkins in only two ways, as David Pumpkin Seeds and as the ever popular pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are, however, a very versatile vegetable. In the past few years, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup and pumpkin filled ravioli have made an appearance. Still, the offerings have mostly been the traditional sweet variety.

Even though they have the outward appearance of winter squash, pumpkins with giant pumpkin seeds are in the same family as cucumbers and summer squash. Native North and South Americans grew them long before the first settlers arrived from Europe and may well have interspersed them with corn, just the way some small farmers do today.

In any event, they were a popular harvest time vegetable, which, with a little care, could be stored to last much of the winter. It was just this quality that may have kept the Pilgrims from dying of hunger that first winter. The diets may have been monotonous, but it sustained life. American Indians taught the Europeans on how to grow pumpkin, to use pumpkins seeds for cooking and also as utensils. The dried shells were used as bowls and storage containers. And whatever seeds were not needed for the next year’s crop were roasted and occasionally doled out as a rare treat.

Today, we see pumpkins displayed from mid September up through Halloween, a few at a time in the supermarkets, and by the hundreds in farm stands all across America. You can buy pumpkin seeds including the giant pumpkin seeds in supermarkets too.

Eating, or sugar pumpkins are not the same as the thick skinned, sturdy fibrous varieties that are best for carved pumpkin and lighting up, although theses are certainly edible in a pinch. Sugar pumpkins are fine textured, quick cooking, sweet squash that lend themselves to all sorts of preparations, both sweet and savory. Today they range in size from the tiny little individual serving David Pumpkin Seeds and Jack-Be-Little to larger 5 to 10 pound Cinderella and New England Sugar Pies. Sugar pumpkins can be prepared in almost any way that winter (hard-skinned) squash can, but may contain more water than some of the more dense squash varieties, which should be taken into consideration when adding additional liquid to some recipes.

I think most canned vegetables are useful only when fresh or frozen are not available, but canned pumpkin puree is a very acceptable substitute for the fresh preparation. If you cannot find sweet sugar pumpkins in y our market, or are pressed for time, canned pumpkin can be used in any recipe calling for puree. (A 2-pound wedge of pumpkin makes about 2 cups of pumpkin puree.)

Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and provides large amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin B and potassium. It is a perfect diet food that may also have cancer inhibiting properties.

More about cooking with Pumpkin

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