Whenever we talk about Halloween, what always comes to mind for most of us is that, carved, hollowed out orange pumpkin that’s lit from the inside with a candle. If you do a quick Google image search for “Halloween”, most of the results will show images of the ghoulish sculpted pumpkin – more widely known as the jack-o’-lantern.
But how did this orange fruit – yes, it’s a fruit – come to be the face of Halloween? What’s with pumpkins anyway?
Here’s the popular backstory: in Irish mythology, there was once a character known as Stingy Jack who twice tricked the Devil for his own gain.  When Jack eventually died, he was barred from entering heaven, so with no other option he went to the Devil and asked him for entry into hell. The Devil likewise refused but took some pity on Jack and gave him an ember of coal to light his turnip lantern as he wandered the earth for eternity. This inspired the name of Jack-o’-Lantern.
In Ireland, people began carving spooky faces out of turnips to supposedly scare away Jack and other wandering evil spirits like him. When Irish immigrants moved to America and brought their customs with them, they found out that pumpkins made better jack-o’-lanterns. By the 8th century, the folklore of Stingy Jack was integrated in the celebration of Halloween. Since then, the iconic orange pumpkin became a staple in Halloween celebrations.
Oh my gourd!
It may seem that pumpkins have simply been relegated to being the lowly Jack-o’-Lantern every Halloween season, but behind their usually ghoulish image, there are actually some fascinating facts about them.
Pumpkins are a member of the large gourd family.  This group includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexico, but now also grow on six continents except in Antarctica.
Pumpkins were also first called “gros melons” by a French explorer in 1584. The name translated to “pompions” in English. Pompions eventually evolved into pumpkins with the first known use of the word featured in the fairy tale of Cinderella.
A whopping 22 million tonnes of pumpkin are produced every year in the world.  This fruit is 90% water, which makes it a low-calorie food.  What’s more, a cup of cooked pumpkin contains only 49 calories as well as 49 per cent of your daily needs for vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E, iron, folate, niacin, as well as the antioxidant beta-carotene. 
A pumpkin a day keeps the goblins away
Pumpkins have always been cooked and prepared in a variety of ways. From soups to stews to desserts, pumpkins have always been a staple since the immigration of the first European settlers in America.  Want to fill your Halloween with this versatile seasonal treat? Read on to find scrumptious pumpkin recipes!
Pumpkin Mini Munchies 
For those who are always on the go, try these soft and delectable bite-sized pumpkin donuts that’s perfect for snacks. They can be perfect goodies for kids doing Trick or Treat as well!
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup Borges Walnut Drink
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Borges Grapeseed Oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cinnamon sugar topping:
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 177°C. Lightly coat with cooking oil a mini muffin pan or coat with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, baking powder and salt.
- In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, Borges Walnut Drink, brown sugar, Borges Grapeseed Oil, egg and vanilla.
- Pour your dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.
- Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray.
- Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- To make the cinnamon sugar, combine cinnamon and sugar.
- When the muffins are done, cool for 2 minutes and dip each muffin into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta 
Surely, pasta never goes out of style. This Halloween, scrap the usual pasta and try fusilli pasta in this flavourful pumpkin sauce!
- Pumpkin puree
- Vegetable broth
- Borges Apple Cider Vinegar
- Borges Almond Drink
- Borges Classic Olive Oil
- Borges Fusilli Pasta
- Grated Parmesan
- Chopped walnuts and roasted pepitas
- Cook the Borges Fusilli Pasta according to package directions.
- Cook and whisk together the pumpkin, Borges Almond Drink, Borges Apple Cider Vinegar, broth, salt, and pepper.
- Add in sage and parmesan, letting it reduce a bit.
- Remove from heat and add in the spinach.
- Add in the cooked pasta and toppings.
Pumpkin Spice Latte 
There’s no need to queue at your favourite coffee shop for a cup of that sweet, sweet pumpkin spice latte. Now you can rustle up your very own sweet n’ spicy blend right at home!
- Borges Natura Nut Drink
- Pumpkin puree
- Vanilla and pumpkin pie spice
- Hot (or cold) coffee
- Whipped cream
- On the stove, heat the Borges Natura Nut Drink, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spices, and vanilla extract.
- Mix the pumpkin spice drink with strong coffee.
- Add whipped cream, serve, and enjoy for the spooky season!
Pumpkin spice and everything nice
There’s more to a pumpkin than just being a Halloween icon. Aside from being primarily a food item that offers many health benefits, pumpkins have been associated with a significant cultural history that spans many centuries. And yes, the once-notorious Stingy Jack has seemingly transmogrified to the truly generous pumpkin that many of us have and enjoy not just on Halloween, but all-year round – whether in cups, plates or bowls.