Elderly Home Care Blog

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The Health Benefits of Cooking with Pumpkin

Picture of Thomas Bay

Thomas Bay

Owner, Anita's Angels

Fall is a time for decorative gourds and delicious pies. Bright orange orbs dot the pumpkin patch. Winter squash piles high in the produce section. There are many sweet and savory Fall recipes you can make at home. However, not all pumpkins are equal when it comes to cooking.

Nutritious and Delicious

Pumpkins are nutrient-dense winter squashes with thick flesh. Cooked pumpkins are packed with beta carotene, an important antioxidant that supports longevity. Pumpkins are also rich in Vitamin A, which boosts the immune system and helps Senior Citizens stay healthy during cold and flu season. Plus, they have fiber and potassium to support heart health. 

How to Select a Pumpkin

When searching for the perfect pumpkin in the grocery store or farmers market, check that the stem is intact and dark green. Stems turn brown with age, so a dark green stem means fresher produce. Inspect the shell to make sure there are no soft spots, mold, or discoloration. Smaller pumpkins tend to be better for cooking. Choose one between four and eight pounds. A good pumpkin will last for weeks when stored at room temperature. 

Baked Pumpkin

Savory baked pumpkin is an easy Fall side dish to make for your Senior Citizen. 


  • One 4-pound pumpkin
  • Two tablespoons olive oil
  • Two teaspoons salt
  • Two teaspoon garlic powder


  • Set the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat to 425 degrees F.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the stem on the pumpkin.
  • Microwave the pumpkin for 1 minute to soften. 
  • Carefully cut the pumpkin in half. 
  • Remove the pulp and the seeds.
  • Peel the skin and cut the pumpkin into 1-inch cubes.
  • Arrange the cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Bake the cubes for 30-40 minutes or until tender, tossing them halfway through.

Stay independent longer with the help of Anita’s Angels, Inc.  One of our Companion caregivers and/or Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides can help your Senior Citizen with food shopping and home cooking.  Anita’s Angels, Inc. – We Are Families Helping Families. Give us a call at 908-788-9390.

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