Spice up your favorite foods with pumpkin
Before you get tricked into satisfying your pumpkin craving with another sugary coffee drink, remember that pumpkins can also be a healthy treat.
Like sweet potatoes or butternut squash, the orange flesh of pumpkin is loaded with nutrients. Along with a healthy dose of vitamin C and potassium, it also contains the powerful antioxidant beta carotene (vitamin A). Pumpkin is also low in calories and high in fiber. Just one cup has 83 calories and 6 grams of fiber.
If you'd like to add pumpkin to your fall menu, just be careful not to turn this healthy gourd into unhealthy fare by loading it down with excess fat and sugar. Check out the following nutritious ideas: is also low in calories and high in fiber. Just one cup has 83 calories and 6 grams of fiber.
Roast some pumpkin seeds: Rinse seeds, using your fingers to remove all the pulp. Spread on a cookie sheet to dry overnight. Toss seeds in a small amount of olive oil, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, garlic or onion powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, or your choice of seasoning. On a baking sheet lined with foil, roast at 325 degrees in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Let cool before eating.
Put up a pot of pumpkin soup: Combine 2 cups of pumpkin and ½ cup of chopped onion with 3 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Purée in a blender. Add back to pot and swirl in ½ cup of yogurt or low-fat milk for a creamy finish.
Flip some pumpkin pancakes: Add ½ cup of canned or fresh pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) when making your usual batter.
Create a crustless pumpkin pie: Take your traditional pie recipe but forgo the crust. Use evaporated skim milk instead of cream for the filling, and cut the sugar to ¾ to 1 cup total.
Serve up roasted fresh pumpkin: Cut pumpkin into wedges, removing pulp and seeds. Place in glass baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.