October’s theme is unfailingly orange – flaming leaves, Halloween decorations and, of course, pumpkins. From carving them to baking them into pies, pumpkins are ever present during this month of fall.
We already know how tasty pumpkin is in pastries, baked goods and even hot drinks, but do you know that pumpkins are a great nutrient-charged food as well? This delicious and nutritious orange gourd is an excellent Superfood.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkins are filled with an abundance of nutrients, including fibre, potassium, magnesium and vitamins C and E. The low calorie count and high source of fibre in pumpkins make them an excellent food to eat to support weight loss while keeping you feeling full. But the true source of their Superfood classification is the amount of carotenoids they provide.
Carotenoids are nutrients that give pumpkins their bright orange colour. When eaten, our body converts carotenoids into Vitamin A, helping to provide healthy looking skin. The carotenoids are also linked to helping prevent cancer and heart disease and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Those with arthritis or muscle pains may find it helpful to eat more pumpkin.
Instead of discarding the unused parts of your pumpkin after carving it, why not indulge in a nutritious treat? After scooping out the inside of your pumpkin jack-o-lantern, save the seeds and the meat for a seasonally-charged treat.
Start by separating the seeds. Wash them off and lay them out to dry. Seeds can be flavoured lightly with a pinch of salt or with any of your favourite flavours from your spice rack. Then, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay the pumpkin seeds down in a single layer. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. There are endless ways to enjoy the gooey pumpkin meat in yummy recipes beyond the typical pumpkin pastry.
Click here for a healthy, autumn-themed smoothie. Ingredients include fall favourites like pure pumpkin, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg that will make you wonder how you could ever miss the summer when fall is so flavourful.
Click here for a unique Halloween take on a favourite dip. This pumpkin-flavoured hummus is a perfect healthy recipe for get-togethers this season.
Canned pumpkin contains just as many vitamins and nutrients as fresh pumpkin. Click here for a pumpkin oatmeal recipe that you can integrate into your breakfast routine that can be doubled as a delicious snack.
Pumpkin is a unique way to flavour plain yogurt at breakfast or snack time to give your breakfast a seasonal taste!
There are many ways to integrate this bright orange Superfood into your fall diet.
With an abundance of nutrients and a delicious taste, pumpkins should definitely be on your menu this season!
What are some of your favourite pumpkin-infused recipes?