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Pumpkin and Squash week: Week 42 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

It is that time of year again when we start to see bright orange blobs lining our fields and filling the shops.

Pumpkins are becoming big business in the UK and most farmers only produce pumpkins for Halloween, with millions making their way to shop shelves to be carved into Jack O’Lanterns.

It seems a waste that a food that is regularly eaten in Australia and America, with some popularity, is discarded here in the UK.

In fact, this nutritious and versatile plant features flowers, seeds and flesh that are all edible and rich in vitamins. So, instead of discarding your poor pumpkin’s innards, use it to make soups, desserts and breads or even the American favourite, pumpkin pie.

7 fun facts about pumpkins:

1. Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.

2. Pumpkin flowers are edible.

Roasted winter veg with squash

3. The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

4. In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

5. Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

6. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.

7. Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

8. Pumpkins are a member of the gourd & squash family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and courgette and are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fibre.

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash

And Squash. Wow, butternut, spaghetti, all delicious, good for you and easy to grow at home. Try growing some and making money with our Crop for The shop initiative. Lots of people are using spaghetti squash as a healthy, and some say, more delicious and nutritious alternative to pasta. Especially those with gluten intolerance.

To discover a farmer or shop growing pumpkins and squash in your area search our local food map . Or, buy online and discover some fantastic products made using pumpkins & squash in MarketPlace

If you have a favourite recipe, then why not share it with us? For the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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