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Fall-ing in Love with Pumpkin

So, you like to carve lanterns out of them every year and drink ‘pumpkin’ spiced lattes to get in that autumnal mood – but have you ever considered how great pumpkin can be as a health food? That’s right folks: this is one root vegetable that’s not only right at the heart of your autumn lifestyle agenda, but that’s actually good for your heart. And your skin, and your immune system, and fighting cancer. We might as well go as far as to call it a superfood, right up there with the greats like blueberries and broccoli. Even more reason to get into the festive spirit this fall.

pumpkin-01Seriously though, pumpkins are great. They’re orange, for a start. And orange may be my favourite colour, but it’s also a sign that pumpkins contain a huge amount of beta-carotene – a provitamin that is converted into vitamin A by the body. Beta-carotene is essential for eye health (it’s not just carrots that help you ‘see in the dark’), and has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease. Plus, one serving of canned pumpkin can provide up to fifty percent of your daily recommend intake of vitamin K, ‘the clotting vitamin’, which helps your blood to remain healthy; it has also been suggested that vitamin K reduces the risk of certain types of cancer.

One cup of canned pumpkin has seven grams of fibre and three grams of protein … and contains only eighty calories and one gram of fat. And while it might contain all that good stuff,  here’s another reason why we love it so: pumpkin can be used as a substitute in many recipes for eggs and oil – making it ideal for anyone on a vegan diet, or for anyone who’s just trying to cut calories and fat. Amazing? Pretty much.

So, as a little intro to my new favourite superfood, here are a few pumpkin-centred treats for you have a go at this fall.

 

Lighter Pumpkin Pie
Serves 8
A lighter spin on the classic Thanksgiving dinner warm-down.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
173 calories
19 g
23 g
9 g
4 g
2 g
108 g
301 g
6 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
108g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173
Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 23mg
8%
Sodium 301mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 19g
6%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
89%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
8%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 prepared pie crust
  2. 1-15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  3. 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  4. 1/3 cup maple syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  10. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  11. 1 egg
  12. 3 egg whites
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Roll out prepared pie crust into a 9″ pie plate, fluting the edges. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all remaining pie ingredients (through egg whites) until very smooth. Pour into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until pie is solidified.
  5. Take the pie out, let it cool completely, and cut into eight slices. Eight slices = eight very happy tummies.
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calories
173
fat
9g
protein
4g
carbs
19g
more
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Pumpkin Mug Cake
Serves 1
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274 calories
50 g
186 g
5 g
7 g
2 g
136 g
82 g
39 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
136g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 2g
8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 186mg
62%
Sodium 82mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 50g
17%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 39g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
101%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
19%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Cooking spray
  2. 1 egg, beaten
  3. 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  6. 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon plus a pinch of nutmeg and ground cloves)
  9. Maple syrup for drizzling, optional
Instructions
  1. Spray a ramekin, mug or microwave-safe bowl with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, baking powder, flour, pumpkin, vanilla and spices.
  3. Pour batter into prepared ramekin. Microwave at 70% power for 50 seconds or until cake is cooked through. Drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy warm!
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calories
274
fat
5g
protein
7g
carbs
50g
more
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Pumpkin Parfait
Serves 1
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166 calories
26 g
0 g
6 g
4 g
0 g
443 g
5 g
10 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
443g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166
Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
10%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 5mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 8g
31%
Sugars 10g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
192%
Vitamin C
15%
Calcium
65%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup plain pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  2. 1/2 large frozen banana
  3. 1 to 1 1/2 cups almond milk (great for flavor and thickness!)
  4. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, adding the almond milk as you go until reaching the desired consistency.
  2. Pour into glass and top with desired toppings!
beta
calories
166
fat
6g
protein
4g
carbs
26g
more
Supplement Judge http://www.supplementjudge.net/

About Amy Longworth

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