Happy Thanksgiving Day!

 

 

Hope your day is filled with family, good food, and a grateful heart for all the blessings received during the year.

 

Pumpkin Bread for the Season

Pumpkin bread

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite breads to have on hand during the fall season and on into the holidays. It combines the mellow pumpkin flavor with cinnamon and nuts for a great fall flavor.

Bread baked in the  smaller miniature loaves are great for gift giving. Children like to make cupcakes using this recipe. Just  pour batter into muffin tins about two-thirds full and viola..a tasty snack.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk or water
2 cups (16 oz. can) pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; add the rest of ingredients. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Fill two well-greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans one-half full. Bake in 350 degrees oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack.

Makes 2 loaves

This bread is high in sugar and oil so keep the slices thin and without butter!  But pumpkin is loaded with much
nutritional value and I like to think the high sugar and oil consequences are overshadowed somewhat by the
pumpkin’s nutrients! Again, moderation is the key.

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant,
beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.

Current research indicates that food containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of
cancer and offers protection against heart disease. It has also shown to be effective against the degenerative aspects of aging.

Here are the nutrition facts for 1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, pumpkin without salt:
Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg

This is the wonderful season of glorious colors and tempting foods.

May you enjoy good, healthy foods.

Lee Jackson
Books for cooks and apple lovers
children, families and parenting professionals
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Timely Pumpkin Trivia

Here  is a little pumpkin trivia:

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Photographed in Canada

Pumpkins have been grown in America for over 5,000 years.

Six of the seven continents grow pumpkins. Antarctica is the only continent where they won’t grow. They are even grown in Alaska.

Colonists made pumpkin pies by filling a hollowed out pumpkin shell with milk, honey and spices and then roasting them over hot ashes. Did they learn this from the Indians?

Many consider the  pumpkin a vegetable but it really is a fruit. As a type of squash, it is member of the gourd family and is related to cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

Pumpkin is 90 percent water.

Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.

The weight of the world’s largest pumpkin has been variously listed as 1,061 lb., 1140 lb., 1385 lb., and 1,502 lb. Take your pick. That would make quite a few pies!

One record indicates that the  largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

Another survey states that the world’s largest pumpkin pie weighed 2,020 pounds and measured more than 12 feet! It took 5 hours to bake and produced over 3000 slices!

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Indians used pumpkins as food and medicine.

Enjoy pumpkins – ’tis the season!

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Harvest Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread 005
Image by Kristin Brenemen via Flickr

What do you serve drop-in family and friends when they stop by your house this season? Here is an easy entertaining idea that is sure to please your guests. It is one of my favorite breads to have on hand during the fall season and on into the holidays. Pumpkin Bread has been my mainsty for a number of years. It combines the mellow pumpkin flavor with cinnamon and nuts, plus, it freezes well. You can make it into smaller miniature loaves for gift
giving if you want. Children like to make it into cupcakes. Simply pour the batter into muffin tins about two-thirds
full.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk or water
2 cups (16 oz. can) pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; add the rest of ingredients. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Fill
two well-greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans one-half full. Bake in 350 degrees oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick
inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack.

Makes 2 loaves

This bread is high in sugar and oil so keep those slices thin and without butter!  But pumpkin is loaded with much
nutritional value and I like to think the high sugar and oil consequences are overshadowed somewhat by the
pumpkin’s nutrients! Again, moderation is the key.

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant,
beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to
vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.

Current research indicates that food containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of
cancer and offers protection against heart disease. It has also shown to be effective against the degenerative aspects
of aging.

Here are the nutrition facts for 1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt pumpkin:
Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg

Just a little pumpkin trivia: Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds. The largest
pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds. That would make quite a few pies! The largest pumpkin pie ever made
was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of
sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake. I have one question: Why would anyone want to do this? Other
thoughts also linger with me — who will eat this and is good food being wasted?  Remember, pumpkin pie should be
refrigerated.

May you enjoy good, healthy food.

Lee Jackson
Books for cooks and apple lovers
children, families and parenting professionals
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween icon
Image via Wikipedia

The pumpkin, when carved into a jack o’ lantern, is a symbol of Halloween. We are about to celebrate that day on October 31, the eve of All Saints Day.

Children enjoy picking out pumpkins in anticipation of the holiday. Once they have selected one, you may suggest  they draw pictures of pumpkins with different emotions, such as happy, sad, angry, and scared jack o’ lanterns and then talk about feelings. Drawing different expressions on paper can  help them decide on the design for their creation.

When choosing a pumpkin, look for one with a bright orange color that is firm to the touch. Avoid those that are soft or have blemishes on their skin. If your child wants a large pumpkin, suggest that you will buy any pumpkin he or she can carry. You may want to buy two – one for making into a jack o’ latern and one to cook. When choosing one for cooking, the smaller ones are better,  as the large pumpkins have stringy pulp.

Pumpkins keep longer when stored in a cool, dry place, such as outdoors, above 32 degrees F but below 60. If you plan to cook the pumpkin, do so within a month.

In her book, “Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun Activities”, author Amy Houts,  includes an interesting section on how to toast pumpkin seeds. Her “Ranch Flavored Pumpkin Seeds” and “Spicy Seeds” create a tasty twist to regular pumpkin seeds.

Note: Seeds should not be given to young children as choking is possible.

Tomorrow I want to share with you a delicious pumpkin recipe from her cookbook.

Enjoy the fall weather and fall flavors!

Lee Jackson
Books for cooks and apple lovers
children, families and parenting professionals
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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