Don't throw out pumpkin goodness

Oct. 26, 2009 at 1:19 AM
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DALLAS, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A U.S. dietitian advises eating, rather than throwing out, the meat and seeds of a carved pumpkin.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said the pumpkin is a great source of vitamins A and C as well as potassium.

The seeds, Sandon says, are high in fiber, vitamin B-12 and polyunsaturated fatty acids -- the so-called good fats. Oven roasted, the seeds are ideal as snacks or as a topping for salads.

"The flesh of pumpkin and the seeds are abundant in many essential nutrients," Sandon says in a statement. "Pumpkins are low in fat, calories and are loaded with vitamins."

Sandon recommends using fresh pumpkin for baking. Pick the smaller, blemish- and bruise-free pumpkins -- the smaller pumpkins have softer and tastier meat.

To maintain freshness, pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

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