Lisa Wehr's Public Health Blog

Lisa is originally from Sigourney, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Music in 2010. She is currently a first year Master’s of Public Health (MPH) student in community and behavioral health (CBH). Lisa works on the medicine-psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Through this blog Lisa hopes to let people learn about the CBH department.

This student blog is unedited and does not necessarily reflect the views of the College of Public Health or the University of Iowa.

26 January 2011

Real Food: Pumpkin

I enjoy trying make foods myself that I would typically buy in a store. I think fresh food is best for me and locally grown food (which is also typically fresh) is the best for me and the environment. I also know that I can make things with a lot less sugar, salt and preservatives and a lot more flavor.  I compare the taste, cost, and effort involved and decide if it's "worth" it to me at this time. One of my experiments this fall was with pumpkin puree.

I saw the pumpkins at Hy-Vee and couldn't resist. (my counter is a mess, don't look).
After 10 minutes of hacking away I had only managed to get this far. I decided that if I were to do this again a different knife would be in order.
I then scraped out the insides (and separated the seeds so I could roast them....yum!)

I put the two halves in a baking dish with a bit of water in the bottom. It was baked at 350 F for about 60 min, when the skin was soft enough to be punctured with a fork (hence the fork in the picture).

I scooped out the insides and put them in my trusty blender.

For size reference, this is a quart jar.

It was much better than canned pumpkin. I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie so I can't vouch for it there, but I made a lot of really tasty smoothies.

Was it worth it? At this point in my life, probably not.
The pumpkin cost me $2, so it was a little more expensive than buying pumpkin. In terms of health, fresh pumpkin probably has a few more vitamins/antioxidants. But canned pumpkin has very little salt and preservatives so there's not much gain there (I get more rewards for my time by cooking my own black beans). But I enjoyed the flavor so much that if I had a garden where I grew my own pumpkins, I would definitely do it.

Any suggestions as to what else I should try making?

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