by Susan on November 29, 2009

It’s pumpkin week at our house! If you have kids, more than likely you have an abundance of leftover pumpkins lying around your house – you know, the ones they got at the Pumpkin Patch field trips, from school parties, and the ones they talked you into buying at the grocery store and roadside stands. Well, DON’T throw them out! You may not realize it, but pumpkin is one extremely healthy food for you and has many uses, not just the usual pumpkin pie. Here’s some ideas, nutrition info, and recipes:
  • Bake or steam the pumpkin and just eat the flesh with a little salt and butter. Mmmmm! I LOVE it this way!
  • Pumpkin seeds – rinse all the “gunk” off and dry; spread out on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil, spray a thin coating of olive oil over the seeds and add a little salt; roast in the oven at about 375 till golden brown. There’s never enough seeds in one pumpkin for our family!
  • Soups – Make a chicken or turkey broth based soup and add about 2 cups pumpkin. I confess I make this year round! For a creamier version, add some milk.
  • Pumpkin can be used as a substitute or partial replacement for the fat in a baking recipe. It makes baked good sooooo moist. Below are some recipes where I add pumpkin.
  • Pumpkins contain the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is known to lower the risk of some cancers. It also has another carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin. One half cup of mashed, cooked pumpkin only has 24 calories, 6 carbs, and zero fat!

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

2 cups cooked pumpkin
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. each of nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves
1 tblsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375º. Blend pumpkin and sugar. Beat in eggs. Stir in milk and vanilla. Add all dry ingredients. Blend until barely mixed. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes until set and browned. If desired, sprinkle additional cinnamon over the tops before baking.

Pumpkin Pancake Recipe
(we enjoyed this for breakfast Thanksgiving morning)

1 egg
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup milk
1 tblsp. Brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. each of nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves
1 tblsp. Baking powder
1 cup whole wheat flour

Beat egg with pumpkin. Stir in milk. Add all dry ingredients except flour and blend. Blen in flour until all but very fine lumps remain. Cook on a greased surface over medium high heat. Turn pancake when edges become dry and most of top is bubbly.

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