Pumpkin A Super Healthy Fall Food
The brisk autumn weather is here and now is a good time to begin paying more attention to your eating pattern. Especially, in comparison to how you ate during the summer. This time of year when it is damp, windy and cold. We tend to desire warming, starchy, oily, and salty foods.
Think of the warm colors fall brings. Pretty oranges, reds, greens and yellows. We find these colors in the leaves that are drying on the trees and will eventually fall to the ground. These colors are also present in the seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available during the autumn season.
The foods Mother Nature and Father Time provide us during autumn are nutrient-dense foods high in fiber, protein, vitamin c, beta-carotene and antioxidants. Some of these foods include: apples, pears, pomegranates, yams, figs, dates, pumpkins and winter squashes.
These pretty fruits are usually only connected to Halloween and pie. However, they have a much greater nutritional value and should be eaten more for their true purpose.
Pumpkins contains beta-carotene which is present in all orange colored fruits and vegetables. Matter of fact it is what causes their orange hue. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A when ingested inside the body.
Beta-carotene assists with cancer prevention and with slowing down the degeneration and aging process. So this qualifies pumpkin as a superfood. Because of it’s high fiber content, pumpkin is good for weight management.
When you buy your pumpkin this fall to make a decoration. Don’t throw out the inside; including the seeds. You can use the pulp to make soup, stew, a smoothie or if you must then make a healthy pumpkin pie 🙂
Type of Pumpkin to Eat
Be sure to get pumpkins that are smaller and called pie pumpkins. Compared to the larger pumpkins used for carving. Pie pumpkins are less stringy and have more pulp.
How to store pumpkin pulp
Thanks to Michigan State University’s Michigan Fresh Extension for providing an informational newsletter titled “Using, Storing and Preserving Pumpkins‘. Inside they provide information on how to preserve pumpkin pulp. Including canning. Check it out.
Eat Those Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds also called pepitas are an antioxidant and packed with minerals such as: iron, copper, zinc, protein, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.
Soak or sprout the seeds then dehydrate them for a raw snack, or you can roast them in the oven if you do not have a dehydrator or prefer yours roasted. Dehydrating them is best as it will preserve their nutritional value. However, if roasting them in the oven do not roast them for more then 15 minutes in a 170 degree oven. Store in an air tight container at room temperature. Enjoy!
How do you enjoy pumpkins? I would love for you to comment and share with us.