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How to Eat Raw Pumpkin

It's that time of the year when fresh pumpkins are available everywhere and may already be decorating your home, but can you eat them?

It's that time of the year when fresh pumpkin is available and affordable! Eating raw pumpkin bought at the store or fresh from the pumpkin patch are both fun ways to improve both the nutritional value of your diet and add a favorite flavor to more meals.

This is an amazingly nutritious food that should stop being just a decoration for the holidays and take a more active participation in meals. In just 1 cup of cubed raw pumpkin, you have more than 170 percent of your daily needs for vitamin A! Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that helps to promote normal vision by supporting your eye’s ability to adjust to lower levels of light and be able to see in the dark. Vitamin A also helps promote healthy cells and tissues in your body, supports regulation of your immune system, protects you from infections, and works at an antioxidant to protect from some diseases and cancers.

Additionally, pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin C and potassium, while also being low in calories. This makes pumpkin a very nutritious food, both in its raw form and cooked. Pumpkin is packed full of phytochemicals which help to protect the body against carcinogens and disease!

Ideas for how to eat raw pumpkin:

  1. Use a cheese grater to shred raw pumpkin and use it as a salad topper
  2. Cube raw pumpkin and marinate it with vinegar and oil and spices for a crunchy sweet-savory combo- add to salads or try a more minced version on top of cooked chicken
  3. Substitute the cucumber or carrot sticks in your sushi for shredded raw pumpkin
  4. Grate raw pumpkin on top of your baked goods a few minutes before your dessert or baked good is ready to come out of the oven for a fresh slightly baked pumpkin topping
  5. Shred raw pumpkin and add it to your homemade ice cream or add it as a topping to your favorite pecan, cinnamon, or maple-flavored ice cream Sunday
  6. Add pureed fresh pumpkin to your yogurt or cottage cheese
  7. Cut thin slices of pumpkin and use it in place of cucumber rounds or carrot sticks with your favorite dip.
  8. Let raw pumpkin seeds dry out and then eat plain or add as a salad topper

[Image via Shutterstock]

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