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Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Possibilities

Pumpkins are really yummy and really healthy.  Just think of all the fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium,  and manganese. Its also a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamin, copper, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, niacin and copper. 
Good for keeping your lungs healthy thos cold and flu season but also as listed in World's Healthiest Foods website, pumpkin (and other winter squash) 
are phytonutrient rich

Although not as potent as root vegetables like burdock, garlic or onion, winter squash have been found to have anti-cancer type effects. Phytonutrient research on squash is still limited, but some lab studies have shown vegetable juices obtained from squash to be equal to juices made from leeks, pumpkin, and radish in their ability to prevent cell mutations (cancer-like changes). 

I have some plans for a pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin soup, and perhaps even a healthy mix to make up some Halloween cakes for hungry goblins.
These aren't my original recipes but one's I think I will enjoy, and hope you will too -

Smoothie - I use a vanilla whey protein base shake formula to which I plan to add about half a cup of pumpkin puree and some organic pumpkin pie spice.  I never add the ice when I make smoothies, just filtered water or another juice.  Sometimes I add organic milk so I vary the recipe from time to time.  I do not use soy milk or almond milk because of allergy.  If I use other than real milk - like rice milk - I make my own to avoid all the additives.

Soup -  I love Black Beans so when I saw this recipe I thought it was right up my flavor palette.  I make a black bean-pumpkin stew in the winter that has a hearty Southwest flavor and kick. You could sprinkle this with a little chili powder or cayenne to "turn it up a notch"!
  • 3 cans Organic Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Organic Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon or less Celtic Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Organic Peppercorns, ground
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 pound cooked diced ham (delete for non-meat eaters)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Directions: In a food processor or blender coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.
In a 6 quart heavy kettle cook onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in butter over medium heat, stirring until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Mix in broth, pumpkin and red wine until combined and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer, stirring, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds (and shredded cheese, optional).
Toast Organic Raw Shelled Pumpkin Seeds sprinkled with Celtic Salt in the oven at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes, turning once.
Servings: 9 servings total
Calories 300, Fat 10 grams, Protein 16 grams, Sodium 1058 mg, Carbohydrates 34 grams, Fiber 10 grams

Choco-Pumpkin Muffins -
This is an easy one and it makes the chocolate cake much healthier.
You'll need one 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree and one 18.25 ounce Devil's Food cake mix.  Mix the two together BUT DO NOT ADD ANY OTHER INGREDIENTS
Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  Pour in batter. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  Makes 12.
You might like to add pumpkin puree to your favorite pancake mix too.


1 comment:

Svea said...

Great post! As I was carving pumpkins tonight, I wanted to find more creative ways of using pumpkin! Thank you for your 'pumpkin insight'!