It's the great pumpkin, autumn lovers!
Just like the Native Americans used every part of the buffalo, so can you use every part of your pumpkins this fall.
Friday, October 2, 2009 - 21:15
I remember well the feeling of stringy, gooey, orange pulp squishing between my fingers as I scooped the "guts" out of my decapitated pumpkin every year before carving a personality into it. So much of the popular orange gourd goes to waste every October when there are many ways to use each part of the pumpkin.
This part of the pumpkin is thrown away more often than not. However, folks like Lynne Bonnell in Arizona have gotten creative with the tough topper and found ways to put them to use. Bonnell creates decorative hand-sewn plush cushions that look like pumpkins with real stems sewn on the top. They sell from six to fifty dollars a pop and make for festive decorations on a mantle or in a sitting room. Stems, just like any part of the pumpkin, can be useful in compost piles.
When plucked from the web of stringy pulp and toasted, pumpkin seeds make a great snack and can be flavored any way you like 'em! They are incredibly high in protein and a good source of fatty acids which aid in nervous system health. Pumpkin seed oil is popular in Europe and can be used on top of everything from salads to ice cream.
Bet you didn't think of this part! According to mamaherb.com, the pumpkin flower is a good home remedy for cataracts. Check out the article that tells you how to prepare flowers to help out those peepers. Exotic food eaters rave about fiori fritti, an Italian dish that involves frying the pumpkin flowers. The blossoms are stuffed with cheese, dipped in batter and then deep-fried for a salty treat. Interested? Try the recipe from roma-o-matic.com.
Ah, now here's the good part. The source of your pumpkin pies, soups, tarts and casseroles. The easiest way to make a good pumpkin puree is to slice the pumpkin in half and roast it first. Then the skin slides off easily and the meat can be easily whipped or mashed to be used in baked delights.