Whipped cream-laden Thanksgiving pie notwithstanding, pumpkin has a healthy nutritional profile, with more than 200% of our RDA of Vitamin A, plus about one-third of our daily Vitamin C and nearly one-quarter of our fiber requirements. And it has just 40 calories per serving. (Without that whipped cream, of course.)
Canned pumpkin is widely available in grocery stores during the fall/winter holiday season. (Note:
Be sure to grab plain pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix in a can,
which includes sweeteners, spices and other ingredients to make a pie.)
One can of pumpkin contains about 1 3/4 cup. Some canned pumpkin can
have a slightly bitter taste, so it’s best suited for sweet recipes. For
pumpkin-based dips or sauces, try making your own pumpkin puree; it’s
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
small (8 to 12 inches across) pumpkin. Cut off the top, halve, scoop out
seeds (see below), cut into quarters or sixths, and roast at 350
degrees for 75 to 90 minutes. Cool, peel and then puree the flesh in a
food processor or blender. An 8-inch diameter pumpkin = 2 cups puree.
(Pureed butternut squash is a fine substitute for pureed fresh pumpkin.)
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
the seeds out of the pumpkin innards with your fingers and rinse them
in a colander. Boil the seeds in a pot of well-salted water 1o minutes;
drain, spread on baking sheet, toss with 1 tsp. olive oil and bake at
400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the seeds are toasty brown.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
In a blender, combine 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup vanilla nonfat ,
1 tsp. honey, 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (add
half a banana if you’d like). Puree until icy and smooth. Tastes like
pie. (101 calories, 0 g fat)
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
large nonstick skillet, sauté several cloves of garlic and half an
onion, diced. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups pumpkin puree and stir to combine; add
vegetable stock if needed to thin the sauce a bit. Add minced fresh
sage or rosemary and serve over whole-wheat penne pasta.
recipe rides the line between sweet and savory; it’s as delicious on a
whole-grain bagel for breakfast, or with carrot sticks for a beta
carotene-packed afternoon snack.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 2 Tbsp. sugar (or sugar substitute to taste)
and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to 8 ounces of low-fat cream .
Easy Pumpkin Ice Cream
add 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to
your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe; freeze according to your ice
cream maker’s instructions.
Pumpkin Bruschetta Appetizers
toasted bread rounds with a whole garlic clove to season; top with 2
tsp. pumpkin puree and 1/2 tsp. bleu cheese; broil for about 1 minute
to melt the . Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and coarse sea salt.
Carrot Pumpkin Bars
mashup between carrot cake and pumpkin bread is fairly low in fat and
has a sweet frosting of light cream cheese and skim milk.
Low-Fat Whole-Grain Pumpkin Pancakes
for cooler months, this hearty breakfast recipe includes whole-wheat
flour, lots of spice, canned pumpkin and skim milk. Whip up a batch of
these pancakes for the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Do you prefer to eat pumpkin in savory or sweet recipes?