As we reluctantly put away our clever costumes for another year (truth be told, I had to really force myself to retire my tiara), one thing we needn’t get rid of quite yet are our pumpkins!!! It makes me sad to see all those harsh, sunken, orange faces piled up on the sides of the road. So I got to thinking: what other uses do pumpkins have? Turns out this seasonal vegetable is super rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and much fewer in calories than many others. It contains no saturated fats and is highly recommended in many weight loss programs!!! So…now that we know pumpkins are truly amazing, what do we do with them?
If you still have your seeds lingering around, now’s the time to use them. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and great for your heart and brain. They are also packed with protein and minerals so they make a fantastic snack! Who knew?
Basic pumpkin seed recipe: 1.5 cups
1.5 cups of raw pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons of butter
pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.
To make use of the rest of the pumpkin, here’s another recipe that is both delicious and low fat.
Fresh Pumpkin Pie
3 cups pumpkin puree made from fresh pumpkin
1 14-oz can Eagle Brand fat free sweetened condensed milk
4 large eggs
1.5 t cinnamon
1 t cloves
1 t allspice
1/2 t ginger
Bake pie crust shell as directed on package. Mix together all liquid ingredients and spices. Pour into baked pie shell. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower temp to 150 and bake for another 45-60 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Number of Servings: 8
Who knew Mr. Jack-O-Lantern was festive, fun and nutritious? Well, now I do. And so do you!