Yay it's October! Leaves changing, crisp breezes, haunted houses and pumpkins a plenty.
I know we all love pumpkins for their excellent carvable capabilities, but did you also know that they're really good for you?! And pumpkin pie doesn't always start in a can ;-).
Better than just a decorative Halloween candle holder or a delicious pie filling enjoyed only one season a year, pumpkin is highly nutrient dense. Both the flesh and seeds are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which provide many health-boosting nutrients.
Nutrients in Pumpkin
Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and rich in disease-fighting nutrients such as:
- Vitamins C and E
- Pantothenic acid
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
The alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are potent antioxidants found in pumpkin and are pro-vitamin A carotenoids, which means the body converts them to vitamin A. These nutrients promote healthy vision and ensure proper immune function. The beta-carotene in pumpkin may also reverse skin damage caused by the sun and act as an anti-inflammatory. Alpha-carotene is thought to slow the aging process and also reduce the risk of developing cataracts and prevent tumor growth.
- 1 pie pumpkin
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Cut pumpkin in half of if using a larger pumpkin cut into small manageable pieces and cut off pith and seeds (wash seeds and allow to air dry to make roasted pumpkin seeds!).
Place cut pumpkin skin side up in a large roasting pan. Add 1/4 inch of water and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and allow pumpkin to cool. When cooled, peel away skin and mash or puree. Use in any recipe that calls for canned puree pumpkin.
FYI – 1-15oz can of pumpkin = 1 3/4 cups.
I put pumpkin into my oatmeal with some brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice... YUMMY!