With the arrival of October and fall weather, this also signifies the arrival of pumpkin flavored everything! In accordance with the change of seasons and grocery store isles, this blog post is dedicated to everything pumpkin as well.
From pumpkin soup to pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin is quite the versatile flavor and can be found in almost any isle of the grocery store this time of year.
Lucky for pumpkin, it’s not all about the taste- pumpkin also has many rewarding nutritional qualities. Pumpkin contains the following nutrients:
- Beta-carotene is responsible for the bright orange color of pumpkin & is converted to vitamin A in the body. This antioxidant is important for healthy skin and vision. Research also indicates that diets rich in beta-carotene may be protective against some cancers.
- Fiber is important in promoting normal digestion and bowel movements, improving the gut microbiome (see previous post here), and weight maintenance. ½ cup of canned pumpkin provides 16% of the daily recommended amount.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin C is important in maintaining a healthy immune system (especially during flu season!), wound healing, and maintaining healthy cartilage.
- Potassium is important for muscle contraction, fluid and mineral balance and maintaining normal blood pressure. Potassium may reduce your risk of kidney stones and possible bone loss that occurs with aging.
Ways to embrace this fall favorite and to boost nutritional value of foods:
Add a scoop of canned pumpkin to your oatmeal, top with pecans & a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
Pumpkin yogurt parfait (see below for recipe)
Pumpkin bread, muffins & pancakes (try using whole wheat flour for even more beneficial nutrients)
Pumpkin granola (try adding this to the pumpkin yogurt parfait!)
Pumpkin oatmeal cookies
TIP: When choosing canned pumpkin, be careful to choose canned pumpkin that does not have any added sugars. To make sure you are purchasing real pumpkin look on the label for:
“100% pure pumpkin”
Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup 100% pure canned pumpkin
¼th cup pumpkin granola
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 banana, sliced
Drizzle of honey
In a small alternate between layers of yogurt, sliced bananas and pumpkin puree until all yogurt and pumpkin puree have been used. Top with granola, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and a drizzle of honey & enjoy!