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Happy Pumpkin Day, Peeps!
by KindMeal.my, 01 November 2014
Happy Pumpkin Day, Peeps!

Pumpkins are autumnal vegetables in northern climates, but here in Malaysia, we can enjoy their benefits year-round. Whether you celebrate Halloween by carving a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern or not, pumpkin flesh and seeds are very nutritious. Pumpkin is also a wonderfully versatile vegetable, making gorgeous soups, purees, stews, drinks, baked good and more. Don't forget, dogs benefit from pumpkin in their diets, too.

The pumpkin plant is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the ground in a similar fashion to that of cucumber, squash, and melons. It's one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world. Pumpkins vary greatly in shape, size and colours. Pumpkins generally weigh 4–6 kg with the largest reaching a weight of over 25 kg. Pumpkins are typically orange or yellow, but some varieties are dark to pale green, brown, white, red and grey.

Pumpkin is one of the very low calorie vegetables! 100 g provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. It is, however, rich in dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamins A, C and E.

Pumpkin has a whopping 7384 mg of vitamin A per 100 g, which is about 246% of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good eyesight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.

The pumpkin is a good source of B-complex vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. It is also a rich source of minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Don't toss out those pumpkin seeds – roast them! They are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. The seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and vitamins.

If the idea of buying a whole pumpkin at the market and then figuring out what to do with it gives you fits, just surf over to http://KindMeal.my/! There you'll find dozens of meat-free meals on offer, some of which undoubtedly include this rich, golden ingredient.

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