It’s all very well to say that pumpkin is such a nutritional powerhouse, but what good is it for besides pies and puddings? And do you have to wrestle one of those big orange gourds into the kitchen every time you want to eat some?
A winter squash, pumpkin is usually only available fresh in the autumn and early winter. The rest of the year you might have trouble finding a fresh edible one.
However, one of the best features of this vegetable is that it’s readily available all year long in an inexpensive canned form. Yes, you can always have pumpkin pudding on hand. Kids love it and so do adults, especially those who are sometimes skeptical of “healthy” foods. They will dig right in when you serve it (especially if you make our pumpkin pudding recipe).
Canned pumpkin is one of those foods that goes against the notion that fresh is always best. Not only is it sometimes difficult if not impossible to find the fresh variety, canned pumpkin is actually more nutritious. Yes, you read it right!
Canned pumpkin purée (don’t get it mixed up with “pumpkin pie filling,” which has added sugar and spices), has been cooked down to reduce the water content that you’d find in a gourd. That means more nutrition per bite. Note that pumpkin from a cooler climate will often have more flavor and sweetness than one that grows in a warmer place.
Not a fan of pumpkin? You can get a lot of the same nutritional kick from butternut squash. Like pumpkin, it’s delicious when oven roasted and tossed into a green salad, or as a side dish at any time of the year.