Tasty Pumpkin Ideas

All the Places You Can Put Pumpkin

shutterstock_478895236 Stacy Beeson is our registered dietitian with the Integrative Medicine Center.   She practices functional nutrition which focuses on how whole foods and key nutrients help regulate health and the process of healing.  Stacy has been a dietitian for 16 years.

Pumpkin is a popular flavor in the fall.  From lattes to desserts, people gobble up pumpkin products.  Pumpkin is such a mild, versatile item that you can create pumpkin flavored favorites by adding canned pumpkin to your common, every day foods. It’s worth adding a dab of pumpkin anywhere you can because it is a great source of potassium, fiber and beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Beta carotene is a helpful plant chemical or phytochemical that may act as an anti-oxidant to reduce inflammation.  Adding orange-colored fruits and vegetables may help fend off cancer and heart disease while protecting your vision and immune system.  One cup of canned pumpkin contains 83 kcal and less than 1 g fat.  Use plain canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. 

Pumpkin Placement:

Add 1-2 T of pumpkin in the following products:
-vanilla or plain yogurt and add 1 t honey, 1 t cinnamon, 1 T toasted walnuts
-oatmeal and add 1 t honey, 1 t cinnamon, 1 T toasted pecans
-homemade smoothie – add with fruits and vegetables and blend

Add ½ – 1 cup pumpkin in the following products:
-pancakes – the mild flavor blends into the batter
-hummus – the mild flavor blends in and gives you a small vitamin dose
-chili, black bean, tomato or vegetable soup – add ½ – 1 cup while soup is simmering

Pumpkin as Fat Source Substitute
Use canned pumpkin to replace half the fat in your baked goods recipes. For instance if a recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use ½ canned pumpkin and ½ cup butter.

Pumpkin Recipe:
Pumpkin Oat Bites
Makes 20 bites
3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup oat flour (make your own by blending oats in a food processor until they become powder)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
4 T mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 to 2 1/2 T skim or 1% milk
1 T organic canola oil
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or chopped almonds, optional

Combine all dry ingredients and stir very well. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid (including pumpkin). Then stir to combine, and form into balls or cookies. Put in frig to help firm up and will keep for 2 weeks in frig. Nutrition per serving:  46 calories, 1.6 g fat, 8 g carbs, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber.

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