The Power of Pumpkin!

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Today, our Contributing Writer, Photographer & Managing Editor Diana Williamson presents the myriad uses of pumpkin for our health, our pet’s health and a very easy-to-make recipe for pumpkin pie.

As fall draws to a close, neighborhoods seem to defy winter by adorning front doorsteps with the most cheerful of vegetables–the grand ole pumpkin! Its bright orange, circular-shaped body just seems to shout out, “Don’t worry, be happy!” For a little while, we can forget about the oncoming winter storms and rejoice in the festive Halloween season.

Pumpkins, of course, are not just for decoration and have a variety of other uses. We all know about pumpkin pies and lattes, but you can also add it to muffins, bread, porridge, soup and even pasta dishes.

Save the seeds from your homemade pumpkin and then cover them in butter or olive oil and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, seasoned with spices such as sea salt, black pepper or garlic. With a rich of supply of vitamin A, magnesium and zinc, you can’t go wrong.

Pumpkin’s been recommended for everything from prostate health, parasites, tapeworms, dizziness, inflammation, boosting mood, aiding sleep, and helping with Parkinson’s disease. If you have a cat or dog with stomach troubles, a teaspoon of plain canned pumpkin mixed with their food is a great source of fiber and can help heal digestive upset. This of course is the pumpkin (without the sugar) for your pets. Even fussy cats have been known to wolf down their pumpkin-laced food.

Here is an easy to make pumpkin pie recipe for all the bakers out there.

Recipe for “Easy Pumpkin Pie”

1 x 9 inch graham cracker pie crust

1 x 15 oz can pumpkin

2 large eggs

2 tsps cinnamon

2 tsps pumpkin pie spice

1 x 14 oz can sweetened, condensed milk

Preheat your oven to 425 (F) degrees. Blend your ingredients– the pumpkin, eggs, milk and spices in bowl until smooth. Pour ingredients into your crust and bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce your oven temperature to 350 (F) degrees and bake for another 35 minutes until knife inserted into middle of pie comes out clean.

Let cool and then of course serve with some fresh whipped cream! And if you really want to go all the way, have a nice cup of coffee with some “pumpkin” flavored egg nog instead of milk for a spicy treat!