America loves pumpkins at Halloween

America loves pumpkins at Halloween

Pumpkins signal the beginning of the fall season and the advent of Halloween.

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 20, 2015 — When pumpkins become available in grocery stores and at community pumpkin patches and parks, they signal the beginning of the fall season and the advent of Halloween.

Serving as traditional Halloween jack o’ lanterns, pumpkins are carved into frightening faces that glow eerily at night from the candlelight deep within them.

Pumpkins are far more than fascinating orbs used for seasonal display.

They represent a $145 million dollar U.S. industry, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The United States is among the top five pumpkin-producing countries in the world.

As a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of melons and cucumbers, within the genus Cucurbita of squashes and gourds, pumpkins are natives of North America.

“We fancymen are individuals; so are pumpkins; but every pumpkin in the field goes through every point of pumpkin history” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Photo courtesy of Glenn Fleishman/flickr
Photo courtesy of Glenn Fleishman/flickr

Adorned with sturdy stems and boasting brightly-colored shades ranging from yellow to orange, pumpkins are filled with an abundance of carotene, lutein, antioxidants, vitamin B-complex and minerals, and they have no saturated fat.

There are many ways in which pumpkins can be prepared and consumed–the following suggestions are some of the many ways to enjoy them, courtesy of

  • Pumpkins serve as an excellent main ingredient in breads, pies, pancakes, custard, ravioli, souffles and soups.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds, known as Pepitas, are enjoyable as nutritious snacks.

The following is a scrumptious pumpkin pie recipe, courtesy of Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, in Gretna, Nebraska, published on


1 ½ cups canned or cooked pumpkin

1 cup packed brown sugar (or sugar substitute)

½ tsp salt (or salt substitute)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

2 tbsp molasses

3 eggs slightly beaten

12 oz can of evaporated milk (or light evaporated milk)

1 unbaked pie shell of choice


  • Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and molasses.
  • Add eggs and milk and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour into an unbaked pie shell.
  • Bake the pie in a hot oven at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis

Pumpkin is not only delicious to humans, but is also useful in veterinary medicine; it is often prescribed as a dietary supplement for dogs and cats when they experience digestive distress.

Poultry are often fed pumpkin during the winter months as a supplement to their regular feed.

With the oldest known evidence of pumpkin seeds being found in Mexico, dating back to 7000 to 5500 B.C. according to Wikipedia, this wonderful fruit is here to stay, delighting generations with its substantive richness and healthy properties, not only at Halloween but throughout the entire fall season.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2015 by At Your Home Familycare

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at; on Facebook at, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare