Blissful Belle

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Fall Essentials: Pumpkin


What makes you think of fall? Is it the leaves changing from green to orange to red? Is it the warmer weather fading and turning crisp and cool? How about apple picking and the smell of cinnamon? And there’s one other thing that is the quintessential piece to any fall equation – pumpkin.

Most people go pumpkin picking and then use the pumpkins as autumn décor. Others put them on display in front of their house, or perhaps they carve them for a spooky night time display. Did you know that you could actually eat pumpkin?

Yes, those funny looking orange spheres can provide your body with many essential nutrients and it tastes delicious as well.

You can cook a pumpkin in the oven, just like any other squash-type vegetable. You get the “meat” of the pumpkin and plethora of seeds that you can roast later on, all in one step.

Most of the time people just buy canned pumpkin, and that works just as well and is way more convenient for easy, healthy recipes.

But, before we delve into the world of cooking, lets take a look at the fabulous nutritional facts of pumpkin:

 

  • Low in calories
  • No fat
  • Good source of fiber
  • High in vitamin K, E, and A
  • Contains many minerals, including magnesium, potassium and iron
  • A source of beta carotene, which supports good eye sight
  • The seeds are a great source of magnesium, protein, and zinc

 

So, now that you know that pumpkin is a nutrient packed food, Let’s get to some ways to incorporate it into your diet now that you know how nutritious it is.

  • Pumpkin Yogurt- Try mixing ½ cup of pumpkin into your yogurt or cottage cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon, add some vanilla, and sweetner if you want a more dessert-y type snack.
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal- Right before your oatmeal is done cooking, add the pumpkin in and stir until the mixture is warm. Add toppings like maple syrup and pumpkin seeds for added protein!
  • Pumpkin Bread– this bread contains nuts and seeds to enhance the protein content.
  • Pumpkin Ravioli– This is noot your typical ravioli, but it’s still just as delicious! It is lower in calories and fat than the typical cheese or meat ravioli, but it still has the staying power to keep you full for hours. If you’re craving something a little more sweet than savory for dinner then  Pumpkin Ravioli is a perfect choice.

So, Belle, go pick your pumpkin (…or can…) and get cooking! You won’t be sorry!

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One comment on “Fall Essentials: Pumpkin

  1. These are all great ways to use pumpkin! I love using roasted pumpkin and garlic (pureed) as the base for pasta sauce with slivers of crispy fried sage and a little bacon on top if I’m feeling entitled! Yum!

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2011 by in Healthy Belle and tagged , , , , , .
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