Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health
It’s the holiday season! Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we all know what that means – pumpkin and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! My favorite!

Take a look at what pumpkin offers and why it’s dietitian approved!

  • Fat free, sodium free and low in calories (its 90% water!)
  • Good source of fiber to help keep you fuller for longer, stabilizes your blood sugar levels, and keeps your colon healthy
  • Good source of potassium – a key electrolyte necessary for fluid regulation
  • Good source of vitamin C – helps to heal wounds, repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth, and aids in the absorption of iron
  • Excellent source of vitamin A, which affects the immune system, normal vision and reproduction
  • Rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene (obvious by its deep orange color), which may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease and some degenerative aspects of aging

So how can you cook and prepare this fruit? (Yes, pumpkin is a fruit!)
Use it in soups, pies (duh!) and breads. You can also roast the pumpkin wedges with some fun seasoning, stuff ravioli with pumpkin, and even add pumpkin purée to your oatmeal! Try two of my favorite recipes below.

Recipes

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes + 6 hours to cool
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/3 C. Whole wheat white flour
  • 1/3 C. Brown sugar
  • 2 Stevia packets
  • 1 (15 oz) can 100% Pumpkin purée
  • 3/4 C. + 2 Tbsp Skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp Ground flaxseed
  • 2 1/2 tsp Pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly spray a 10-inch round pan with non-stick spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, whole wheat white flour, brown sugar and stevia packets. Stir well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin purée, skim milk, canola oil, ground flaxseed and vanilla extract. Whisk together.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.
  6. Pour into the greased 10-inch round pan and bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cooled, let the pie set in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours prior to serving.

Creamy Pumpkin Dip
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cream cheese, 1/3 less fat
  • 3/4 C. 100% Pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin spice
  • 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. Applesauce, unsweetened

Directions
Blend together in a blender or food until smooth.

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