UNITED STATES—With Thanksgiving upon us, I couldn’t help myself, but discuss two staples fruits and veggies at the big feast: pumpkin and cranberries. Let’s start our focus on the good ole’ pumpkin. So many of us like to think that pumpkins are notorious for Halloween, but they are favorites in November and December as well. So many of us can’t help but salivate over a slice of pumpkin pie, but it’s not that easy to get that pumpkin made.
Pumpkins are a part of the squash family. That’s right butternut squash, yellow squash and zucchini are all related. It’s important to make a distinction between jack-o-lanterns and actual pie pumpkins that are used for consumption. Pie pumpkins tend to be smaller in size and are much easier to dismantle and bake in the oven, compared to a large jack-o-lantern that has to be dismantled.
This isn’t a vegetable that is available year round; it’s most popular during the fall months. Some may be surprised to discover just where pumpkin seeds come from; that’s right the pumpkin. Those little seeds are edible, just pop them in the oven, add a bit of salt and roast them for a couple of minutes and you have a delicious and healthy treat to satisfy all those nut enthusiasts out there.
Something to note are the various health benefits of the veggie, which includes an ample amount of vitamin A, beta-carotene, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Some research has shown that certain phytochemicals in pumpkins have an effect on insulin and glucose levels in diabetics, which can reduce blood glucose and cholesterol levels improving the impact of the disease on the body. While pumpkin may be a staple at many tables this holiday season, for a tasty treat try making a pumpkin cheesecake. The texture between pumpkin puree and velvety cheesecake is unique in itself and this dessert will have all your guests talking for weeks.
What would Thanksgiving be without, the cranberry sauce. Nowadays, so many of us choose to purchase the cranberry sauce out of the can, but some maybe surprised to learn the fruit itself is not as sweet as some would think.
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