Baked, beaten or pureed, pumpkin is a dietary power house, boasting a wide assortment of nutritional benefits. Loaded with healthy fiber as well as immunity-boosting vitamin C, pumpkin also contains L-tryptophan to boost your mood and beta-carotene for healthy vision.
Here are three delicious ways to add a little pumpkin to your palette today:
Roasted Pumpkin Guacamole (from www.bhg.com)
1 ½ tsp olive oil
1 pie pumpkin, peeled, cut in ½ inch cubes to equal 1 cup (reserve remaining pumpkin for another use)
1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 fresh red jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ tsp toasted cumin seeds, ground, or ¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°. In medium ovenproof skillet heat half the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add cubed pumpkin, season with a pinch of he salt, and cook about 5 minutes, until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast pumpkin 5 minutes, just until tender. Remove from oven. Cool to room temperature.
Halve avocados; remove pits, leaving skin intact. Cup one half at a time in palm; score flesh with paring knife in a grid. Spoon avocado flesh into medium-size bowl. Add onion, lime juice, jalapeno, olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, and roasted pumpkin. Stir together; if desired, mash guacamole with fork. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8 Servings
Per Serving: 122 calories, 10 g. fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein
Frozen Pumpkin Yogurt (from www.relish.com)
1 ½ cups Greek lowfat yogurt
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
2 cups pureed pumpkin
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until combined. Place in container of ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Yield: 10 servings
Per Serving: 190 calories, 2 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 39 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 30 mg sodium
Maple Nut Pumpkin Candies (from www.familycircle.com)
1 cup light brown sugar packed
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup solid-pack pumpkin
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp salt
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Line an 8 X 8 inch metal baking pan with parchment paper. Spray paper with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium pot, combine sugars, maple syrup, butter, pumpkin, cream, pumpkin pie spice and salt over medium heat. Stir until butter is melted and all ingredients are combined. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until temperature reaches 238° on a candy thermometer. Stir in walnuts
Pour mixture into lined baking pan. Cool 1 hour on the counter, then refrigerate an additional 1 hour. Slice into 36 squares.
Yields: 36 servings
Per Serving: 92 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g protein, 14 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 20 mg sodium, 8 mg cholesterol