I t is not fall until you’ve been to the pumpkin patch. The sea of orange, visible in every direction, and kids excitedly hunting for the perfect pumpkin. There’s something magical about the initiation of fall with such a trip. What if the pumpkin patch could provide an opportunity for your kids to learn something new about beautiful, healthy food? There are 45 varieties of pumpkins with different shapes, sizes, and colors. They all have seeds to be roasted and soft orange flesh to be eaten, but each one brings something unique to the table. Allow me to introduce you to a few of these extraordinary pumpkins and the specialties they have to offer.
First up, we have the Cinderella pumpkin. She resembles the pumpkin Cinderella’s fairy godmother transformed into a coach. With thick, sweet, and custard like flesh, she makes a delicious pie for all the little princesses at your table. The Lumina pumpkin has pearly white skin with a smooth texture making it perfect for painting and its orange flesh creates an intriguing visual effect when carved. To counter the glossy finish of the Lumina, the Peanut pumpkin is covered in tan knots or “peanuts.” It has sweet flesh that is delightful in soups. Jarrahdale pumpkins bring a cool shade of green to the warm fall colors. They are named for the town they come from in New Zealand, pronounced jar-(rhymes with chair)-ah-dale, and would be a great choice for *Roasted Pumpkin Fries. Lastly, we have the One-Too-Many pumpkin. The orange veins through the white skin resemble the bloodshot appearance of one who has had “one-too-many.” It adds a rustic look to any fall decorations.
All of these pumpkins are incredibly nutritious! One cup of cooked pumpkin (any variety) contains about 50 calories and is packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They contain a large amount of Vitamin A, which helps boost the immune system and support strong eyesight. Try a new recipe and add pumpkin to your healthy table this fall! Check out Fiddle Dee Farm or Walden Pumpkin Farm right here in Middle Tennessee to find the perfect novelty pumpkin for your family’s learning adventure
Kate Hudson is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and recently moved to Nashville to pursue a career in nutrition and dietetics. She received her undergraduate degree in nutrition from the University of Central Arkansas and is a Registered Dietitian from the Dietetic Intern pro- gram at Vanderbilt University. As a future Registered Dietitian, she hopes to use food as a foundation to connect and invest in people’s lives, encouraging them toward a healthier future.