Pumpkin Season Is Here
When we think of Fall, pumpkins often come to mind. Whether for carving, decorating, or eating, pumpkins are the star of the show! But despite our love for all things pumpkin, how much do we really know about this versatile icon?
First, what exactly is a pumpkin? A pumpkin is a cultivar of winter squash that is round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and is most often deep yellow to orange in coloration. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp.
Are pumpkins fruits or vegetables? From a botanist’s perspective, pumpkins are a fruit because it’s a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants. Vegetables, on the other hand, are the edible portion of plants such as leaves, stems, roots, bulbs, flowers, and tubers.
How long does it take to grow a pumpkin? Days to maturity are generally 100 to 120 days.
How big can pumpkins grow? ‘Dill’s Atlantic Giant’ jumbo variety can grow to 200 pounds, which is great for those who want to grow a giant pumpkin. But did you know a New Hampshire man has grown the largest pumpkin ever recorded in U.S. history – weighing in at an astounding 2,528 pounds???
Which pumpkins are best for cooking? For cooking, you’ll want to use sugar pumpkins (also called pie or sweet pumpkins), which are small and round. Field types are larger; have watery, stringy flesh; and are best used for decorating
When selecting the perfect pumpkin, choose one with no soft spots. It should also be uniform in color, with no signs of mold or unusual discoloration. Also, pick a pumpkin that has its own “handle” or stem intact.
When shopping for canned pumpkin, be sure to note exactly what your recipe calls for. Canned pumpkin is just that and nothing more: cooked, pureed pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling is flavored with spices like cinnamon, clove, allspice, and ginger, and is also sweetened. It is a “convenience food” for making short work of pumpkin pie.
Today we’re going to make Pumpkin Pie for Dieters. It has all the goodness of regular pumpkin pie, but without the added calories of a crust. It may just become your new favorite!
Pumpkin Pie for Dieters
Servings: 6 Yield: 6 servings
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- ½ cup skim milk
- 1 (1 ounce) package instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (8 ounce) container fat-free frozen whipped topping
- In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin, milk, and instant pudding mix. Stir in the pumpkin pie spice, and fold in half of the whipped topping.
- Pour into an 8-inch pie plate, and spread remaining whipped topping over the top. Chill for 1 hour, or until set.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
109.7 calories; protein 1.5g 3% DV; carbohydrates 23g 7% DV; fat 0.3g 1% DV; cholesterol 0.4mg; sodium 394.4mg 16% DV.
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