Nothing says Thanksgiving like a big orange pumpkin. Though the exact origin of the brightly colored gourd is unknown, it was likely a favorite of Native Americans and quickly adopted by the Pilgrims. The Native Americans ate the sweet vegetable and also pounded it into flat pieces that were woven into mats.
In North American culture, we celebrate the pumpkin twice a year: carving it into funny faces on Halloween, and mashing it into pies, sauces, and side dishes on Thanksgiving. Its warm scent conveys the fall holidays in an instant.
Nutritonally, the pumpkin is a wonderful provider of beta carotene, which helps reduce cancer risk, and antioxidants, which help strengthen our immune system.
Here's how to cook pumpkin. And when you're all done, you can use Seventh Generation 2x Liquid Laundry Detergent to get your apron clean.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Rest pumpkin on its side and cut off the top, including the stem. Then cut the pumpkin in half, from top to bottom, and cut again into quarters then into eights.
Remove seeds and pulp. (You can wash, dry, and roast the seeds in the oven, then sprinkle with a little salt.)
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender
Let cool, and scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves (skin will likely peel right off) and puree in a blender. Strain to remove stringy pieces. Then use or freeze!
Do you have a pumpkin recipe to share with us?