Plus The Variety of Ways To Enjoy Pumpkin!
It’s that time of year when pumpkin is everyone’s favorite ingredient! From pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin lattes and the list goes on. While not all pumpkin themed food and beverages are a healthy choice, the vegetable is!
Cooking With Pumpkin
Fresh: Small sugar pie pumpkins or red kuri pumpkins are the best choice for roasting, baking and cooking. Save the large pumpkin varieties for carving to celebrate Halloween. Small sugar pumpkins typically weigh between 2-8 pounds and when baked, one small pumpkin typically yields the same amount as one 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree.
How To Cook Fresh Pumpkin: To roast pumpkins, slice off the top of the pumpkin to remove the stem and then slice the pumpkins in half. Scoop out the center and save the seeds for roasting! Place pumpkin halves on a baking sheet, brush with coconut oil and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes approximately. Try diced roasted pumpkin on a salad, make a creamy pumpkin soup or make pumpkin puree prefect for pumpkin pie!
Canned / Packaged: When selecting canned or packaged pumpkin puree look for Organic and unsweetened options. Also choose packaging that is not lined with BPA. Add pumpkin puree to a morning smoothie, a bowl of oatmeal or to make pumpkin bread!
Pumpkin Seeds: Sugar pumpkins and large jack-o-lantern pumpkins both contain pumpkin seeds which are great for roasting. Clean seeds and roast on a baking sheet at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, remove stir and then roast again for another 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the seeds during the second round of roasting to ensure that they do not burn. If you prefer to buy pumpkin seeds from the store, look for raw unsalted varieties. Try roasted pumpkin seeds as a snack or toss in a salad!
Pumpkin’s Health Benefits:
Promotes Bowel Regularity: If you struggle with constipation, eating a plant-based diet can do wonders for regularity and bowel health. One cup of pumpkin puree has 7 grams of fiber!
Heart Health: Pumpkins are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (from the pulp and seeds) which support heart health by binding to bad cholesterol.
Immune Boosting: Pumpkins are rich in vitamins such as vitamin C. Pumpkin seeds also contain Zinc, an important mineral that supports a healthy immune system.
Backstage at ABCs KATU before my segment!
Disclosure: Thank You Pacific Foods for sending me Pumpkin to include in this segment!