Bizarre Food Facts: Pumpkin Power!

Pumpkins: America's favorite squash.  Surprisingly enough, we only seem to use it for three things-pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, and jack-o-lanterns. Though carving jack-o-lanterns brings the kind of joy that biting bologna- wrestling masks gave me as a child, I feel that we are not using the pumpkin to its potential.  And pumpkin potential must be properly harnessed to make the most of the Fall season.

Check out these pumpkin facts.  WARNING-Please try all of these at home. If they result in a seasonal spirit that lasts more than four hours, please do not seek the help of a physician. EMBRACE THE PUMPKIN!

  1. Pumpkin Face: Can't figure out a Halloween costume? Put on a honey pumpkin exfoliating mask! Add some cucumber eyes and you're surely bound to scare children. Mix 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil, 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel, 4 teaspoons cornmeal, 1 teaspoon brewed green tea, and 2 teaspoons diced figs. Blend it all up in a food processor, massage it into your face, and relax for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Bad Medicine: Fact: These orange Cucubrita were once recommended to cure snake bites. Even though the doctors smashed 8 pumpkins on the boy's snake bite, the poor, poisoned patient died anyway, there-by disproving the practice of pumpkin-force trama.-from Dylan's Almost History
  3. Pumpkin Potpourri: Roommates or animals stinking up your house?  Take a small pie pumpkin, cut off the top, scoop out the insides, and cut a few vent holes in the squash's sides. Then rub cinnamon and pumpkin spice on the underside of the top, insert a few cloves, and light a tea light candle inside.  It is way better than a candle, less expensive and environment friendly.
  4. Stingy JackThe tradition of carving Jack-o-lanterns comes from the Irish legend of "Stingy Jack". Jack tricked the Satan one too many times and was banish by both God and Satan from the after-life equipped with a hot coal.  He carved out a turnip to hold his coal and has roamed the world ever since. The more you know...
  5. Parasite Grenades: Tapeworms stealing all your nutrients? Eat some pumpkin seeds. It paralyzes the parasites and sends them right out with everything else.
  6. For the Birds: There is no reason that you can't share the season with your little feathered neighbors. Cut a 3 to 5 pound pumpkin in half and scoop out the goop. Poke holes in the side and insert twigs for perches and use twine or hemp fastened to the bottom of the pumpkin with tacks or staples to hang it up. Fill it with the bird's favorite seed and watch 'em eat. Trust me, if they could smile they would.
  7. Roots for Days: Believe it or not, but an adult pumpkin plant can have roughly 15 miles of roots. That's right, this is science.
  8. Pumpkin-Soft Skin: Better than coco butter, this homemade moisturizer will leave your skin so soft and healthy, you'll never buy lotion again... at least during the winter. A 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, a 1/2 cup solids from a can of coconut milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix it all up in a bowl and massage it into your skin.  Leave it for ten minutes and then rinse it off.
  9. Eip Nikpmup: The first pumpkin pie had pumpkin in the crust, not on the filling. A little backwards, but worth trying.
  10. Pumpkin Boat: The next time anyone asks you that famous question, "If you were stranded on an island, what is the one thing you would you take?" answer with "A 200 pound pumpkin of course." You can hollow one of those suckers out and sail it all the way back home! Pumpkin Sailin'!

What's your favorite use for pumpkins?

Photo: Rich Bowen

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