Pumpkins are a fruit belonging to the Curcurbitacae family. This family of plants includes such fruits as cucumbers, squash and melons. Pumpkins originated in America and have come to be quite a symbolic food for the autumn of the year. You can eat both the flesh of the pumpkin and the seeds. Both are tasty and nutritious.
Pumpkins are a good source of fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. They are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and a good source of vitamins A and C. They contain about 90% water. They are known to benefit your health by boosting your immune system, promoting healthy vision and acting as an anti-inflammatory. They also help to regulate your bowels and are now known to reduce the risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer.
You would be surprised at the variety of ways you can prepare pumpkin. Recipes are available for pumpkin cheesecakes, soups, oatmeal and yogurt and of course the Thanksgiving staple, pumpkin pie. You can also make delicious pumpkin bread with the following recipe. Hope you and your family will enjoy it.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups white granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 9 x 5-inch bread pans.
2) In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together and set aside.
3) In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Stir in the flour mixture alternating gradually with water.
4) Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans, dividing the batter evenly.
5) Bake in the pre-heated oven for about an hour. Makes two loaves.
Tips for high altitude:
If you live at a high altitude (i.e., over 5,200 feet above sea level), to prevent the bread from rising too quickly or collapsing, you may need to add extra water to the batter and increase your oven temperature by 10-15 degrees. Decrease the amount of baking soda and baking powder by 15-25%. Reduce the amount of sugar by approximately 3 TBSP.