Let me give you “pumpkin” to think about…

Ok, that was pretty bad but… even Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother knew pumpkins were magical gourds.

It’s that time of year where there is no escaping them. The orange squash are everywhere you look from doorsteps and porches to markets and “patches”. Closing your eyes will do you no good because pumpkins are on every menu. Whether you are stopping to see your favorite barista, getting ready order something to ease your hunger pains, or looking for a sweet treat at your favorite bakery or ice cream parlor, expect “pumpkin” to be an option.

High in vitamins and minerals and low in calories, pumpkins are nutrient dense. But don’t go crazy on the pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin snickerdoodles just yet. The benefits can easily be “squashed” (I can’t help myself… lol) when tons of sugar and calorie laden additions dress your pumpkin up for the holidays. Pumpkins are a great source of beta carotene which your body converts to Vitamin A which is known to be good for your eyes, skin and because pumpkin is also high in Vitamin C, immunity boosting. It has a high antioxidant content because, in addition to beta carotene pumpkin includes alpha carotene. But that isn’t all, pumpkin is a good source for Vitamin E, Iron and Folate. I need one more reason. Give me one more. Ok, pumpkin is a good source of fiber.

So there are lots of reasons to incorporate it into your diet when they are so plentiful. Lucky for us, they are also versatile. You can enjoy pumpkin as a savory dish, roasted with a dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper or as a comforting way to warm up, served piping hot as a creamy soup. Even it’s seeds are edible as a healthy snack. My guess is you’ve enjoyed pumpkin as a sweet taste of fall. Pumpkin pancakes drizzled with warm maple syrup or any variety of pumpkin spiced confection has tickled your taste buds, as there are numerous to choose from. The good news is that once the fall is over and the leaves begin to adorn the bare branches, you can still find pumpkin in a can. Buyer beware, however, as a quick glance at the label will reveal if it’s contents will fuel your body. There should only be one ingredient. Guess. You got it. PUMPKIN; it matters because without all the extras added, a one cup serving is under 50 calories. And because I’m always about sealing the deal, let’s put a spin on it for you. Use pureed pumpkin instead of oil or butter in any baking recipe and you’ve just upped your baking game. I’ll admit, I’m not always a pumpkin purist. Anyone that knows me well knows that pie is my weakness so this season I’ll have a slice of pumpkin pie or two and it just isn’t complete for me without my other weakness…whipped cream!

Published by strongnfitchick

Fit mom of three on an energizing fitness journey. Watch my video. I invite you to join me!

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