With October right around the corner, pumpkin season is in full swing! Pumpkins aren’t just a fall decoration. They are also loaded with health benefits, which is a good reason for anyone to add pumpkin to their diet. Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C; they are also fat free, low in sodium, and cholesterol free, making pumpkin a great addition to many recipes.
When picking out pumpkins for eating, be sure to choose one that is firm, heavy for its size, and without blemishes. Storing pumpkins in a cool, dark place will help keep them good for up to 2 months.
Try making your own pumpkin puree by roasting a fresh pumpkin in the oven, scooping out the inside, and mix well with a blender. The pumpkins you carve and decorate are the same pumpkins used for roasting and as canned pumpkin in the grocery store.
Don’t forget to roast the seeds from the pumpkin for a healthy on-the-go snack. Pumpkin seeds are actually one of the most nutritious seeds around; they are loaded with healthy omega-3 fat and fiber. To roast pumpkin seeds, wash them well, roast at 160-170 F for 15-20 minutes and sprinkle lightly with spices.
Try this sweet treat below as an alternative to pumpkin pie at your next family gathering!
Pumpkin Fluff Dip
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
6 oz low fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
1 can roasted pumpkin
2 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cloves, ground
½ tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp sea salt
1. In a food processor, combine cream cheese and Greek yogurt until smooth.
2. Add remaining ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Serve with sliced fruit such as apples or pears, graham crackers, or pretzels.
Nutrition Info: 35 calories, 1 g fat, 25 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein
Recipes Source: http://www.kidseatright.org
Check out Bures Berry Patch located at 3760 W. Brigham Road in Baneveld, Wisconsin for a variety of pumpkins. Bures carries an enormous selection of white, blue, red, black, green and even orange pumpkins. http://www.buresberrypatch.com/