As we start to feel the cool Fall air move in, we also start to see the foliage change color and yes, PUMPKINS everywhere.
A little history on the large squash…
Pumpkins are considered to be a squash, which is a fruit and grows on a vine. The word pumpkin originated with the Greek word Pepon, which means large melon. It eventually was morphed by the English, French and then into the American word “pumpkin.” It is believed to have started in the Ancient Americas. The early Native Americans used pumpkins as a food source during the cold winter months and a fun fact…The Native Americans used the “Three Sisters” tradition of growing their pumpkins. “The Three Sisters” is believed to be a growing technique that incorporates growing squash, corn and beans together. The corn was used as a natural trellis for the beans to grow and the bean roots provided nitrogen to the soil, a necessity to nourish the corn. The squash were used as a shelter for the shallow roots of the corn and also provided shade to preserve moisture and discourage weeds from growing. That is soooo cool!!!
Aside from Pumpkin pie, I found a few other uses for the “much loved” squash.
Exfoliate the Skin
Pumpkins are rich in zinc, vitamins A, C and E. So, it’s not just good to eat, it is also good to apply to your body. Using a mix of pumpkin puree, brown sugar and a splash of milk makes a great natural exfoliant for the skin. Just combine the ingredients into a paste, apply to the skin in a circular motion and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Feed the Wildlife
Instead of throwing your carved jack-o-lanterns out, you can place in your yard for deer to eat. Also, birds love pumpkin seeds if you don’t want to toast them up for yourself.
Fill a shaker with ice, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree, 2 ounces of vanilla vodka, a splash of lime juice and honey, shake and serve over fresh ice. You can garnish with a honey/brown sugar rim and a cinnamon stick.