Pumpkins, Comfort, Cooler Weather!

What does October mean to you? I look forward to all the fall ideas from crafts to cooking. Also, during this season, our physical activity may slow down along with our healthy eating too.

Don’t let the outdoor temps slow down your progress with healthy options, or start now if you are thinking of improving your diet. Pumpkin is all the rage this time of year. Good thing for us because it can add a healthy punch to our fall menu.

Did you know that canned pumpkin, really may not be pumpkin after all but may be a form of squash that is similar to Pumpkin? Read pumpkins story here: What’s in our canned pumpkin?

However, pumpkin carries a giant health punch in foods and drinks. Why? Pumpkin is loaded in fiber which helps bind to fat as well as other good stuff.

Pumpkin or it’s Squash look alike is loaded: 

  • Fiber that reduces cholesterol, is fat and sugar free. All three help with weight maintenance.
  • Potassium, Antioxidants, Vitamin A, C and beta-carotene may help reduce cancer and blood pressure issues
  • Use it to reduce sodium and fat in recipes.
  • Pumpkin seeds also provide health benefits for prostate health

Try visiting the websites provided, especially the Pumpkin-Can Recipes for healthy add-ins and tips.

Great Ideas with Pumpkin: 

Cook with it, Stir it In, Smear it, Heat it and Drink it, and Decorate with it!

Add the benefits of pumpkin to these items and recipes!

  • Cook with it by adding pumpkin to chili, beans, soups, stews and sauces.
  • Stir it into Lasagnas, ravioli, cornbread or breads
  • Mix it in muffins, cookies and cakes, breakfast pancakes, and my favorite: add in to oatmeal.
  • Smear on bagels, add in Lattes and much more.

Caution: Some pumpkin dishes can be high in sugar and fat. Use pumpkin to replace fat in recipes such as brownies. Do go easy on the pumpkin desserts.

Another great idea with pumpkins this year, is to paint them teal and provide an allergy free treat option for kids during trick or treating. 

TEAL PUMPKIN? What? Did you know that the Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween/Fall Festivals is a way to help kids with allergies trick and treat safely? Purchase items that are non-allergy related for kids and then you can paint and display a teal pumpkin outside your door on Oct. 31st that helps parents and kids know it’s a safe place to treat. Learn more-https://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project 

Websites to Check Out: Pumpkin-Can Recipes 

Cooking Light Healthy Pumpkin Recipes 

Health benefits of pumpkin 

Prepared by Hospitality Dietitian Mindy Diller, MS, RDN, LD   mindy.diller@ttu.edu 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s