Like cucumbers, squash, zucchini, melons and watermelons, pumpkins come from the cucurbit family. Originally from Mexico, this large fruit from an annual plant bearing the same name never ceases to amaze us for its versatility. Known for its orange colour, many people call it a fruit vegetable, depending on the dish cooked, whether it is sweet or salty. However, pumpkins have so much more to offer us. Discover the many facets of pumpkins, in order to use them to their full potential.
Perfect for decorations!
Whether you choose to include them in your indoor or outdoor decor, pumpkins add a beautiful and colourful touch to any fall setting. Just like squash, there is a wide variety of pumpkins. They can come in all sizes, funny shapes and unusual colors such as the “ghost” pumpkin, which is all white and has the same colour flesh. Add some dried corn on the cob and you have a great decoration! Be creative—you can put it in any room of the house.
Easy to decorate!
Pumpkins are very easy to decorate—and that has become a favourite fall activity! Sites like Pinterest can inspire you and guide you in your creations. Braver folks will want to get out knives and other implements to carve their pumpkin—a Halloween classic—while it will be much easier to use crayons, paint and other craft materials with the kids. Either way, just be creative and have fun!
Delicious on our plates!
Already versatile, pumpkin is also very easy to add to our recipes, whether we are cooking a simple soup or a macaroni and cheese! For your sweet or more savorty recipes, pumpkin is always a must when the cold weather arrives, once Halloween is over. Full of antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E, it makes an excellent base for your recipes for gratin, rice, risotto, quiches, soups, pasta, cakes, pies, scones, muffins, cookies, etc. You won’t be disappointed!
Our grandmothers used to say: “Choose it small for your sweeter recipes or desserts.” This is really true, but simply because you will find a firmer and less moist flesh. It will therefore lend itself better to cooking! It also makes your dish more substantial—and healthier!
And lastly, pumpkin keeps for a long time and quite easily in a cool and well-ventilated place, which allows us to use it in all kinds of ways and to its full potential, until the end of its useful life. No more waste! From decorating to tasting to crafting to harvesting the seeds, your pumpkin can end its life in the compost bin and therefore return to the earth in this way. If you live near a forest, you can also take your pumpkins—if they are still in good condition–further into the woods and that way, they will be a real treat to small and larger animals such as raccoons, squirrels, birds, deer, etc. L’Entraide diabétique du Québec encourages you to make the most of your pumpkins after Halloween and, in so doing, take one more step towards a zero-waste lifestyle.