Halloween is just around the corner, and this is a great opportunity to provide our readers with a pumpkin update. This week we’ll talk about the pumpkin flesh, next week we’ll extoll the virtues of pumpkin seeds.
What you need to know:
The rich orange flesh stores a high amount of carotenoids (a type of antioxidant) which are associated with reducing the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. The alpha and beta carotenes in just a cupful of this super-food supply the body with more than a day’s recommended amount of vitamin A. Pumpkins are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as potassium and magnesium.
What to look for at the supermarket:
the pumpkin is a winter squash, usually available from late August until March. The height of the season begins now and lasts for 3 months. Since most pumpkins are rather huge, they’re cut up and sold in 2-3 lbs. chunks. Look for deeply orange flesh, seeds intact, and clean exterior skin. Not in season, one can usually find canned pumpkins. Although not as tasty, they work well in most recipes.