Quick, what food comes to mind first when you think of fall?
Pumpkins – at least for me -- all those beautiful orange globes adorning doorsteps and filling harvest fields are the picture of autumn. Beyond their stunning visual appeal, the squash is a tasty addition to the season’s root vegetables and a nutritional star.
Pumpkins offer us fiber, anti-oxidants like alpha- and beta-carotene and an extra helping of vitamin C. Sure, pumpkins are the basis of pies, breads and ice creams, but they can be so much more than that.
Try them in an Italian risotto, gluten-free, of course, for a healthy, hearty main dish. Make a fabulous soup out them, spiced with curry and ginger or paired with fall’s other bright light, apples. Or fill them with savory ingredients like sausage, spinach and eggs and bake for an unusual holiday entree.
Our bodies convert the antioxidants into vitamin A, which in turn, adds a boost to the skin and eyes. It also helps other organs like the heart and lungs work properly. Vitamin C meanwhile, is good for repairing tissues and maintaining bones.
And don’t forget the seeds, which are rich in protein and healthy fat. They also contain zinc and magnesium, to help with blood pressure and the immune system. If you’re doing it yourself, clean the seeds from the stringy goo, boil them in salted water for 10 minutes and then bake with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (add some spice with chili powder) in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. Voila, a crunchy, tasty snack.
So go ahead, have your pumpkin pie, your pumpkin spice latte. But the real treat lies in the gourd’s savory, healthy goodness.
Source: Orlando Magazine
Couple of our GFP favorite pumpkin/squash recipes:
- Pumpkin Cocoa Brownies
- Pumpkin Smoothie (yum)
- Pumpkin Custard
- Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Squash Bisque