Lately I have been almost obsessed with using fresh pumpkin. I've made pumpkin bread, pumpkin butterscotch muffins, put pumpkin in soup, and made pumpkin pancakes. Some swear by the can, while others wait all year for the real deal. Now while I fall into the second group, is fresh really all that better? Let's take a look.
I found this table at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/pumpkins/nutrition.cfm and wanted to share.
|Nutrients||Raw (DB)||Cooked (DB)||Canned (DB)||Libby's Canned|
|Serving Size (cup)||1/2||1/2||1/2||1/2|
|Total Carbohydrate (g)||3.8||6||9.9||9|
|Vitamin A (IU/svg)||928||1325.5||27018.6||17500|
|Vitamin A (% RDI)||18.6||26.5||540.4||350|
|Vitamin C (mg/svg)||5.2||5.8||5.1||4.8|
|Vitamin C (% RDI)||8.7||9.7||8.5||8|
|Calcium (% RDI)||1.2||1.8||3.2||4|
|Iron (% RDI)||2.6||3.9||9.4||10|
|Folate (% RDI)||2.4||2.6||3.8||n/a|
|DB: Data Bank Values (USDA Nutrient Composition Tables)|
|RDI: Recommended Daily Intake (Nutrition Label Standard)|
More nutrition facts can be found here.
I'll be the first to admit that convenience items are great. Some of the prep work is done for you and it is a fantastic time saver for those of us with little time to spare. However, there is just an indescribably wholesome feeling going to the farmer's market, picking out the pumpkin, bringing it home and preparing it to use in recipes. Then there's taste. Honestly, the taste of fresh anything can't be beat.
In my recipes I always say to set the seeds aside for roasting later. I had never eaten pumpkin seeds til I moved here in 1996. It was love at first bite. Now, I don't have them all that often since my husband can't eat seeds. So usually if I roast them, I give them to my mom. After doing this research, I think I'll be eating them a little more often. Did you know...:
Pumpkin seeds are good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are good for heart health. In addition, they are very good in protein, minerals and many health benefiting vitamins. For example 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 cal, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%) etc... but no cholesterol. The seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to GABA in the brain.
information found at http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Clean the rest of the pumpkin goo off of the seeds. Let them soak overnight in salty water. (Or you could boil in salty water for 20 minutes, which will help finish cleaning them.) Drain and lay them out overnight so they dry out. Toss them in extra virgin olive oil and lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. You could use a jelly roll pan to make sure none of the seeds slide off. Sprinkle salt and garlic powder over all the seeds. Bake at 300 degrees F for about 45 minutes until they are golden brown, stir occasionally to ensure even baking.
Enjoy carving your pumpkins, baking them, roasting the seeds, and using them in your decorating!