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Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Fruit Explorations: Pumpkins


Today we are sharing our pumpkin exploration! Now Hazel loves pumpkins. She loves pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, and so much more! She insisted on growing pumpkins in our garden. We planted sugar pumpkins only this year. Last year the white pumpkins took over the garden and since we had used seeds from a white pumpkin the previous year they were orange on our vines. (Many of the new fruits and vegetables only grow that way for the first year.) We picked our first pumpkin and wanted to make pumpkin bread with it.

Picture of Our Pumpkins in 2012


We started to cut it open and then I cut it in half for Hazel to scoop out and explore.
Hazel loves exploring the goop and seeds of the pumpkin. She had a lot of fun scooping it out and separating the seeds.

She got one half pretty clean and then I finished it and did the other half.
Then I put them in the oven at 350 for about an hour. I should have left them in a little longer. Then I scooped out the pumpkin into the food processor and pureed it. Now it is ready to use in pumpkin bread. While it was baking, we washed the seeds. I put some on a paper towel and left out to dry and save for next year's garden.
We were going to roast the rest of the seeds, but Hazel was sick and we never got to it. I put the pumpkin puree in the refrigerator to use another day while Hazel did her journal.
Coloring Page Hazel Found at Our Public Library
So a few days later we baked pumpkin bread. We followed the recipe at Food.com. There are some changes I will make for next time. It is way too spicy!! I would definitely cut the nutmeg and ground cloves in half if not by more. I had forgotten this since the last time we used this recipe.

Pumpkins are very low in calories and high in dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals! It is often suggested by nutritionist for weight loss programs. It is a good source of vitamin A, B complex and alpha and beta carotenes. Pumpkin seeds also have quite a bit of nutritional value. (Source)

This year we decided to make a pumpkin similar to one we did last year with a gourd. This year we used a foam pumpkin from the Dollar Tree, so we won't have to remake it every year. We started by painting (with acrylic paints) the pumpkin a mixture of black, dark blue and dark purple. It came out looking very black. On the second coat I mixed more blue and purple in, but again it looked very black. While the second coat was wet we sprinkled on silver glitter and let it dry.



After the second coat was dry I put a thin coat of Mod Podge over it to keep the glitter on and give it a shine. 


We also made some jack-'o-lantern candle holders from recycled jars. We shared them the other day.
We also have been reading some books about pumpkins. We found some non-fiction books and some fiction ones. Here are a sampling of the ones we found.
Non-Fiction



Fiction


That is our exploration of pumpkins!! Hazel has noticed another orange pumpkin on the vine and is hoping to try the pumpkin bread recipe with less spice. I was hoping for pumpkin scones. Oh, well!!

For past pumpkin posts check out: (Ok, it looks like we really like pumpkins!!)