Picking your own pumpkin is a longstanding tradition among many families. As autumn rolls around each year, and the air gets colder many of us go out and pick pumpkins for fun. Each year the US produces around one billion pounds of pumpkins. During the month of October it is especially popular to get pumpkins to carve into various faces. The tradition of making ‘jack-o-lanterns’ is believed to have originated in Ireland where people turned turnips, beets, and other roots into faces. You can decorate pumpkins in many different ways other than just carving faces into them. Many people use arts and crafts supplies such as glitter, stickers, paints, and feathers to adorn their pumpkins. Many people just use pumpkin patches as places to get family portraits taken.
Pumpkins are technically part of the squash family. While we normally picture pumpkins to be orange, it is not uncommon to see them in colors like yellow, white, green, or even red. On average pumpkins weigh about 13 pounds. Pumpkins however have often been grown for their size in competitions. Some reaching a whopping weight of 1000 pounds, with the world record pumpkin sitting at 1800 pounds.
While for many of us pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes are the only pumpkin food we eat, there are many other ways people eat pumpkin. Soup and roasting the seeds are also popular ways people consume pumpkins. However, pumpkins can also be baked, roasted, steamed, or boiled.
Nutritionally the pumpkin is low in fat and cholesterol, and especially low in sodium content. It is an excellent source of Vitamin E which is an antioxidant to help keep your cells from being damaged. In addition pumpkin is a great source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and other supplements. While this is before pumpkins are turned into pies or soups, it does show that pumpkins do add a bit of nutritional value into whatever it is cooked into.
Picking your own pumpkin is not only fun for the whole family it is also a delicious vegetable. While most of us may just use them for decorations and food for thanksgiving, there is lots more to do with them.