Pumpkin - It's great for pie and pi!
At Snowden Elementary in Farmersville, Mrs. Joy Smith fully utilizes this amazing squash. She incorporates the pumpkin and its many seeds to teach students about math. These skills are reinforced using tactile and spatial relations. Two excellent educators partner to demonstrate how the seeds can be added, multiplied and placed in arrays. Nutrition educator Grilda Gomez partners with Mrs. Smith to provide nutritional data related to eating the “meat” of the pumpkin as well as its seeds. For Smith and Gomez, pumpkins are not just great for pie but also for pi. Upon completion of math activities, the students continue celebrating the wonders of pumpkins by carving jack-o-lanterns with their high school buddies. While many of the students have eaten pumpkin pie, few have ventured beyond sugary variations of the fruit. On this day the students also get to enjoy a tasty treat prepared by Gomez, pumpkin spread served on whole wheat toast slices.
“Tastes like my ‘buela’s empanadas,” remarks a student.
Yes, similar to the mixture in empanadas, this recipe allows the students to enjoy the full flavor of pumpkin with very little added sugar. Pumpkins provide a terrific supply of Vitamins A and C. They are not just for dessert either. Pumpkins are a wonderful addition to creamy vegetable soups. Winter is approaching, but it’s not too late to pick this versatile squash.
- 16 oz. can pumpkin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix in an pan and heat on the stove until it bubbles. Let cool slightly. Ready to eat warm or cold. Store in refrigerator up to 4 days. Use on toast or bread, tortillas, waffles and pancakes.
UC nutrition educator Grilda Gomez, back row far right, poses with the students and their jack-o-lanterns.