It's pumpkin time!

Many people do not believe that the lowly pumpkin is a great food. We think of pumpkin pie and the ever present pumpkin spice latte, but pumpkin is so much more than that. Let’s see what we can do with this wonderful Squash.

Pumpkin has a range of benefits, including being one of the best-known sources of beta carotene. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. The body converts any ingested beta carotene into vitamin A.

Some of the benefits are:

• Reducing the risk of developing certain types of

cancer • offering protection against asthma and heart disease,

diabetes and obesity • decreasing the risk of age-related macular


You can either use fresh pumpkin or canned. Both are excellent. Make sure that if you are using canned pumpkin, that you do not pick up pumpkin pie filling, as this has added sugar and spice. If you are using fresh pumpkin, make sure that you pick a good specimen and store it properly. Make sure the pumpkin has a few inches of stem remaining. It should also be hard and heavy for its size. You can store uncut pumpkins in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months. Make your own puree and freeze the leftovers for future use.

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