It’s that time of year again! Pumpkins are popping up all over the place. You can hardly walk into a store of any kind without seeing one of these great orange orbs either used in the shop’s decor or being sold in some capacity.
If you don’t go any farther in your consumption of pumpkins than a slice of pie at Thanksgiving, then boy oh boy are you missing out on some amazing (and delicious) nutrition.
Why are pumpkins so good for us?
Carotenoids: Just like carrots, pumpkins have a high level of carotenoids to thank for their orange color. These carotenoids help protect our eyes, can prevent premature aging, and can stave off disease. Sign me up!
Vitamins & Minerals: Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin C which can protect against cancer, Vitamin A which can boost immunity, Magnesium for healthy teeth and bones, Zinc which supports bone density, and Potassium which can prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Fiber: Pumpkins are an excellent source of dietary fiber which helps keep us regular! This fiber also leads to healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Low cal: Pumpkins are low in calories and fat.
Diuretic: Pumpkins act as natural diuretics, meaning they flush toxins out of our bodies.
Get happy: Pumpkins can aid in relieving depression thanks to their L-tryptophan-containing flesh.
And don’t even get me started on how healthy pumpkin seeds are for you! I’ve dedicated a whole article to them recently.
I think we can agree that pumpkins are worth eating! But you might not want to hoe into one of the ornamental ones. Some pumpkins are meant for eating and some are only meant for decorating!
That brings me to our Trick:
Don’t just reserve pumpkin for pies! Use pumpkin puree in place of oil in your baking recipes or even put some in your soups and chillis. The velvety texture is lovely but the taste is very mild.
And your Tip:
There is nothing wrong with eating pumpkin puree from the store as long as it is actually pumpkin. Yes, buyer beware! If you want to eat pumpkin for its health benefits, read that label. Making your own pumpkin puree is laborious but it’s not really that hard. And it freezes like a dream.
And your Pumpkin Recipe:
Pumpkin Bean Soup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 can black beans rinsed, drained, 16-oz.
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 2/3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2/3 cup water
- 14 ounces canned pumpkin puree
- salt and pepper to taste
- cilantro finely chopped (as garnish)
- In a blender, process cumin, black beans, onions, garlic, broth, and water at high speed until smooth.
- Transfer bean mixture to saucepan; stir in pumpkin and heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve in bowls; sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Looking for more delicious recipes like this one? Check out our Dinner Answers program today!