Decorating with pumpkins, eating pumpkin dishes or carving a pumpkin, you can’t think of October without Pumpkins. Let’s talk pumpkins around the table: a little bit of pumpkin everything.
Pumpkin Nutrition Information
According to the USDA, 1 cup of Pumpkin is about 49 calories. It is nutrient-dense with powerhouse amounts of potassium, Vitamin A/Beta Carotene, and good amounts of Vitamin C. It is low in carbohydrates at 12 grams and dietary fiber is only 2.7 grams.
When buying canned pumpkin, note it is sometimes really squash instead of pumpkin. Avoid the pumpkin pie mix because it has added sugars. Cook your own pumpkin and use the pumpkin in your recipe. If you are in a hurry, the canned pumpkin is good.
Most pumpkin is used in soups, desserts or baked goods. Many food items have extra sugars and fat added to make the pumpkin tastier. An example is pumpkin pie.
To cut back on the fat/sugar amounts, try a crustless pumpkin pie with less sugar. This is my favorite, warm out of the oven because it tastes like a custard with no crust. At least if you eat pumpkin pie it’s only a few times a year and has plenty of vitamin A.
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Puffed Eggs
This dish can be eaten for breakfast, snack or dessert. I have eaten it for breakfast and dessert. It reminds me of bread pudding. For dessert, if you’d’ like it sweeter, sprinkle 10 mini semi-sweet chocolate chips on top before baking. Serve with a few tablespoons of whip cream on top.
- 6 eggs
- ¾ cup pureed pumpkin
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
- 1 tbsp powder sugar
Spray 6 Ramekins and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wire whip. (I used my immersion blender to mix/blend. See blog on 12 Immersion Blender uses- Let me count the ways for other ideas.)
Divide mixture between ramekins and place on a baking sheet. If desired sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Bake 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with powder sugar or add whipped cream when serving. These can be eaten cooled or warm and for breakfast or dessert. If you have extras- refrigerate and reheat in microwave 30 seconds for a warm pumpkin puffed egg at breakfast.
Take pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin, wash seeds and roast, season or salt. These are also called Pepitas. Pumpkin Seeds are highly dense with nutrients such as fat, carbohydrates, protein, potassium, and magnesium. They are often eaten by the handful as a snack or on salads. Like any nut you are good with a handful.
How to roast:
- Clean out pumpkin strands, wash and spread on an oiled pan.
- Roast at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and add spices, olive oil, and sea salt.
- For spices: try smoked paprika, parmesan, cumin, cinnamon or garlic powder.
Pumpkin Carving and Family Devotional Story
Gather your kids or grandkids around to carve the jack-o-lantern pumpkin. The big jack-o-lantern pumpkin varieties are meant for carving. The smaller darker pumpkins are meant for pumpkin food dishes and called pumpkin pie pumpkins.
To make carving a pumpkin a devotional/family night we would carve the pumpkin as a family and read through this story with added verses.
A Pumpkin Story
Being a Christian is like Carving a Pumpkin.
- God picks you from the patch. John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you”…
- He washes off the dirt. John 13:18 …Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
- He cuts off the top and scoops out the icky stuff inside and removes seeds like hate, doubt, greed, and pride. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
- God carves a new smiling face and puts a light inside for us to shine to the world. Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Buy a small pumpkin pie pumpkin and place it on the table for a centerpiece. Keep a black Sharpie near the pumpkin and once a day at breakfast or dinner have each person in the family write something, they are thankful for on the pumpkin. Write around the pumpkin as pictured and separate each word with space or three dots or a dash. Continue around the pumpkin with the same pattern.
If you live alone you can do this yourself, or do as a large group at an event. If it’s hard for your family to do this every day, then work on it together at one meal during the week. Work on this October to Thanksgiving or just for the month of November. Its always good to see what the family is thankful for in one word.
Favorite Pumpkin Book
My favorite book to read to elementary kids this time of year is Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. It’s about a lady who hates pumpkins and throws her seeds away but they begin to grow. She ignores them and by fall pumpkins are growing everywhere. Then her heart changes and you will see what she can do with pumpkins to get rid of them. Here is a link to amazon.com.
Have fun with pumpkins foods and activities. It seems as if there is pumpkin everything this month. Enjoy!
If you have any pumpkin ideas share them in the comments. If you want to subscribe to