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5 Ways to Use a Pumpkin

There is more to the pumpkin than meets the eye. The nutrition value alone makes pumpkins a vitamin powerhouse. Here are five ways to use pumpkins other than for a jack-o-lantern.

Your chickens will love this pumpkin treat. Best of all, it's super healthy!

Nothing says Autumn better than the site of a pumpkin.  Personally speaking, this type of squash puts a big smile on my face as I know that the tumultuous Texas summer has finally come to an end, and cooler weather is coming.

Pumpkins Pack a Punch!

Pumpkins are considered to be a nutritional powerhouse!  Your immune system will flourish due to the high amounts of carotenoids found in pumpkins. Beta-carotene is also present in pumpkins, which is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and preventative for the build-up of cholesterol on arterial walls.  And the ladies will love this!  The alpha-carotene found in pumpkins is believed to slow to the process of aging.  Pumpkins have a powerful supply of Vitamin A (2650 IU) making it a natural way to get a good supply of vitamins to help with eyesight and related eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.  This is also a good source of fiber (3 grams), and carbohydrates (12 grams).

Since pumpkins are so readily available, why not take advantage of their versatility and use them to make some welcome pumpkin snacks, can pumpkin for your deep larder or surprise your family with a pumpkin feast for dinner.

  • Use a pumpkin for cooking to add lots of flavor to soups, bread, and dinners.  Here are some recipes to peruse over for some future meal preparations.  Roasted pumpkin seeds are a favorite Autumn snack in my family.  Once the Jack-o-Lantern has been carved we save the seeds, season them and slowly roast them in the oven.  Here are some great recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Pumpkin Seed Brittle is a delicious and sweet alternative to the roasted seeds.  Here is a great recipe to surprise your family with.
  • Canning pumpkin is a great way to preserve this great tasting gourd for later use.  Here is a recipe I found for canning pumpkin.  Note: Get your pressure cookers ready!
  • Using pumpkin for a beauty treatment will soften the skin, provide anti-aging agents to improve the look of your skin and provide the face with an added vitamin regimen.
  • Use pumpkin for animal feed.  Chickens and goats love pumpkin, and the added vitamins and nutrients will benefit them in the long run.

Who knew that pumpkins had so many uses?  Just remember to save some seeds for next year to plant in your garden.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on October 15th, 2010