‘Tis the season to Fall in Love with Pumpkin
By: Kait Keegan
It seems like pumpkin is everywhere this time of year! You can grab a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, enjoy pumpkin pancakes at IHOP, snack on some pumpkin bread at DHall or grab one of Mr. J’s pumpkin bagel at Dukes. While most of us would consider this pumpkin craze to be a seasonal infatuation, the nutritional benefits obtained from eating pumpkin may be just enough to make you fall in love.
What is Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is a squash harvested in the fall. It is a super food which is high in fiber, protein and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin contains Carotenoids which have been linked with various health promoting qualities. Benefits of consuming foods rich in Carotenoids include improved eye health and reduced risks of heart disease and cancer.
Canned pumpkin can be used all year and contains most of the benefits of fresh pumpkin!
Healthful Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin
Pumpkin is nutrient dense and will enhance any treat or meal to which it is added. Yes, even pumpkin pie packs in the benefit of eating pumpkin! There are also plenty of ways to modify your favorite pumpkin treats to absorb all of the nutrients and flavors of pumpkin, while having lower caloric content.
Try a Pumpkin Smoothie!
Use left over fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin to make this tasty treat! Mix together fat free milk, nonfat vanilla yogurt, cinnamon and a dash of pumpkin pie spice in the blender!
* This recipe courtesy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
* This recipe courtesy of organicauthority.com
1 can worth (12-15 ounces) of dried organic chickpeas (preparation instructions)
2 organic garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup worth (6-8 ounces) of freshly pureed organic pumpkin
1 teaspoon organic cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
Organic cayenne pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, water and tahini in food processor. Whirl until smooth. Add pumpkin, seasonings. Whirl. With motor running drizzle in olive oil until blended. Taste and add more lemon juice or cayenne pepper if needed.
* photo courtesy of onceuponacuttingboard.com