Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns – Tuesday Tidbits

Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns. They are a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.

Here are 14 easy ways to start enjoying pumpkin now:

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.44.56 PMRoasted — Cut it into slices, lay in a roasting pan, brush some extra virgin olive oil over it and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to an hour.  Serve warm on its own or on top of a green salad.

Stuffed– Cut small pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds (save them!), brush with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Serve stuffed with quinoa or rice and cooked mixed vegetables. See: Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach

Soup — Bake pumpkin in the same way as indicated under “stuffed” then scoop out the cooked flesh, add two cups to a blender with some vegetable or chicken stock (to desired thinness), a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of unrefined sea salt, a pinch of black pepper, and a teaspoon of honey or other sweetener.  Serve hot.

Pie — Add ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and/or cloves along with your favorite sweetener, pour into a pie crust and bake for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.   See: Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust

Pureed — Place cooked pumpkin (as indicated in “stuffed”) in a blender with a little water, unrefined sea salt, black pepper, a teaspoon of honey or other sweetener, and serve in place of mashed potatoes for a healthier side dish.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.55.02 PMRoasted Pumpkin Seeds — Remove the fleshy parts from the pumpkin seeds you saved. Toss in a little extra virgin olive and unrefined sea salt. Bake at 300 for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.

Ground Pumpkin Seeds — Add ground pumpkin seeds to smoothies or on top your hot or cold cereal.

Raw Pumpkin Seed Snacks — Snack on pumpkin seeds (the green seeds, not the whole seed removed from the pumpkin) on their own or with a pinch of unrefined sea salt.

Bread — Add a cup of grated raw pumpkin to your favorite bread recipe to add moisture, flavor, and nutrients.

Cake — Add a cup of grated raw pumpkin and ground cinnamon and nutmeg to your favorite cake as an easy way to spice up a plain cake recipe.

Pasta Filling — Add pureed pumpkin along with your favorite seasonings such as sage and sea salt as a filling for lasagna or ravioli.

Chai Tea or Pumpkin Lattes — Add a tablespoon of cooked and pureed pumpkin to your chai tea or latte for a delicious autumn twist on your favorite beverage. (Click here for a Pumpkin Latte recipe)Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.57.14 PM

 

Adapted from  Care 2 Healthy Living

Photo Credits:

Stuffed Pumpkin image: care2 healthy living

Roasted pumpkin seeds image: miriam_kato via flickr

Pumpkin latte image: ousam via Flickr

 

Tuesday Tidbits: Pumpkin Time!

It’s October.   It’s Fall.   It’s PUMPKIN TIME!

Pumpkin Time!

From Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns and Cinderella Carriages Pumpkin Time! Cinderella Pumpkins to Thanksgiving Pies, these little (and sometime quite large) orange and round (mostly), vining ‘fruits’ are a ‘delicious and nutritious’ addition to our menus and are quickly becoming the talk of the town, gaining more respect each season as we discover creative and delicious ways to use, prepare and – yes, EAT them!  Recipes abound via the internet, from ‘soup to nuts (seeds) and I am eager to do some taste-testing!Pumpkin Time!

Considered an ‘underrated’ SuperFood, Pumpkins, and their seeds, are native to the Americas, and indigenous species are found across North America, South America, and Central America. They were an important Native American Indian food treasured  for their dietary and medicinal properties.

But first – Let’s start with the Seeds:Pumpkin Time!

DID YOU KNOW?

Pumpkin Seeds that date back to 7,000 B.C. were discovered in caves in Mexico by archeologists.

Pumpkin Seeds are filled with lots of minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper and are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin B group (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6)

Pumpkin Seeds contain phytosterols (shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol) and  L-tryptophan (helps with good sleep and lowered depression.

Pumpkin Seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation, reduce inflammation for arthritis without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, and are used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.

Pumpkin Time!

Pumpkin Seeds are good for prostate health.

Pumpkin seeds are the only seed that is alkaline-forming which is important in this world of highly acidic diets.

Pumpkin Seeds are called ‘Pepitas’ in Mexico where the Spanish phrase “pepita de calabaza” means “little seed of squash.”

Pumpkin seeds were very popular in ancient Greece.

 

Today, China produces more pumpkins and pumpkin seeds than any other country.

Pumpkin Time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

top left: Great Food Fun Places

top right: Good Books for Young Souls

center right:Kids Cooking

center: 123rf

lower right: Punch Bowl

bottom left: Diana Dishes