October 3 – Kale and Pumpkin Seed Day!

Posted October 3, 2018

(First Wednesday of October)

Every day is a food holiday (or at least so it seems), but the first Wednesday of October is a holiday for two foods that are touted as very healthy:


And pumpkin seeds.

National Kale Day

Kale is one of those dark green, leafy vegetables everyone says we should eat more of. It's considered a superfood because it has nutrients that can fight obesity, diabetes, heart disease; it has compounds that work to prevent cancer and are anti-inflammatory. It may even help boost low moods!

Kale is also inexpensive and very hardy. It can be grown in much worse conditions than can most plants - even in cold places or on windy rooftop gardens. It travels well and lasts up to a week when stored properly.

Unfortunately, kale has a rep for being yick-to-eat. People laughingly say that it's too health to be tasty. These recipes beg to differ.

National Pumpkin Seed Day

We all know that nuts and peanuts can be nutritious; well, pumpkin seeds are nutritious, too! They have even more protein and magnesium than almonds or peanuts. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, iron, niacin, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. 

This chart is from Superseedz, a company that sells flavored pumpkin seeds:

Actually, almost all parts of the pumpkin plant are edible. The fleshy shell of the fruit is the part that is carved at Halloween time - but it's also the part that makes the pumpkin in pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin spice lattes. In addition to the shell and the seeds, the leaves and the flowers of pumpkin plants are edible!

Pumpkin seeds, called pepitas, are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and evidence shows us that pumpkins were grown by people even before maize (corn) or beans. And I mean WAY before: We think that pumpkins were "domesticated" (in other words, planted and grown by people) from 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, and maize and beans were domesticated only about 4,000 years ago!

Pumpkin seed enchiladas

Here are some yummy ways to prepare pumpkin seeds.

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