Origin: Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico dating back to 7000 to 5500 B.C.
References to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon." "Pepon" was changed by the French into "pompon." The English changed "pompon" to "Pumpion." American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin."
Native American Indians used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries before the pilgrims landed. They also dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. Indians would also roast long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and eat them. When white settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the Indians and pumpkin soon became a staple in their diets. As today, early settlers used them in a wide variety of recipes from desserts to stews and soups. The origin of pumpkin pie is thought to have occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and then filled it with milk, spices, and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire.
Scientifically: One ounce (28 grams) of shell-free pumpkin seeds has roughly 151 calories, mainly from fat and protein. Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium. Healthy magnesium levels are important for your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, as well as heart and bone health.
Usage: Pumpkin seeds are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are also roasted and served as a snack. Marinated and roasted, they are an autumn seasonal snack in the United States, as well as a commercially produced and distributed packaged snack, like sunflower seeds, available year-round. Pepitas are known by their Spanish name (usually shortened), and typically salted and sometimes spiced after roasting (and today also available as a packaged product), in Mexico and other Latin American countries, in the American Southwest, and in specialty and Mexican food stores.
They also contain a lot of antioxidants and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and folate. Pumpkin seeds and seed oil also pack many other nutrients and plant compounds that have been shown to provide health benefits.
Below are some DIYs with Pumpkin seeds:
- Take a tablespoon of ground Pumpkin seeds and some coconut oil and an egg white to it. Mix and apply this on the face. This helps in tightening of the skin.
- Take a tablespoon of ground Pumpkin seeds and some raw milk to it. Mix and apply this pack on the face for 5 minutes. This helps in reducing the appearance of acne.
- Take a tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil and apply on the roots of the hair. Massage and leave it on for 45 minutes. This helps in strengthening the roots and boosts hair growth.
- Take half a cup of yogurt, a tablespoon of finely ground pumpkin seeds and a tablespoon of fresh aloe vera gel. Combine all the ingredients together and apply on the hair for 45 minutes. Shampoo as usual later. This pack helps in nourishing the hair.