Pumpkin is not only for dessert. Think about using this low calorie, flavorful vegetable, botanically categorised as a fruit, in any of the programs of your fall or vacation meals.
The beta carotene that provides pumpkin its orange shade is a crucial antioxidant. Rising the beta carotenes in your food plan can scale back the chance of growing some cancers and supply safety in opposition to coronary heart illness.
And don’t throw the seeds within the compost pile, roast them as a substitute and benefit from the anti-inflammatory advantages of this snack. Take away the pulp by rinsing the seeds in chilly water. Unfold the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet handled with a non-stick cooking oil. Frivolously salt. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes. Stir the seeds after 10 minutes. Enable to chill and retailer any leftovers, if there are any, in an hermetic container.
Harvest pumpkins when the fruit is absolutely coloured and the rind has misplaced its shine and is tough. The curly tendrils close to the pumpkin will flip brown and die when the fruit is absolutely ripe. Use a pruning shear to chop the stem and keep away from injury to the plant and your harvest. Leaving a number of inches of the pumpkin’s stem intact will increase their storage life. And search for blemish-free fruit with intact stems when shopping for pumpkins from the grocery retailer or farmers’ market.
All the time harvest pumpkins earlier than the primary frost. Or cowl plantings with floating row covers, outdated sheets or blankets when frost is within the forecast. Defending vegetation from the primary few frosty nights can maintain them rising till the remaining frost-free days of the season are again within the forecast.
Solely retailer pumpkins free of sentimental spots, cuts and different injury that may result in decay. Cleansing them earlier than storing can assist prolong their shelf life. Wipe them down with a dilute resolution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Enable them to dry totally earlier than inserting them in storage. Washing the fruit removes micro organism and fungal spores that may contribute to decay.
Retailer pumpkins in a darkish, dry, cool location between 50 and 60 levels for storage. Place them in a single layer on cardboard, crates or picket cabinets. Keep away from storing them instantly on a concrete flooring that may result in rot.
Examine pumpkins usually for rot and smooth spots. Take away any that present indicators of rot and add them to the compost pile. Pumpkins which are saved correctly can final for a number of months.
Keep in mind to take time this season to benefit from the harvest and taste as you prepare dinner up some tasty, nutritious pumpkin dishes this fall.
Melinda Myers is the creator of greater than 20 gardening books, together with Small House Gardening. She hosts The Nice Programs “Tips on how to Develop Something” DVD collection and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Backyard Second TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms journal and her site is http://www.MelindaMyers.com.