by The FIRM nutrition expert Sara Ryba, R.D., C.D.N.
In past years, I felt bad throwing out our Halloween pumpkins, especially if they were still in good form. So last year I decided to use them for delicious post-Halloween dishes. Pumpkin has an impressive amount of vitamin A and other valuable antioxidants. Plus, it’s low in calories and sugar. Check out the nutrition info below, then enjoy these three pumpkin-themed recipes!
Nutrition info for 1 cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin:
- 50 calories
- 0 g fat
- 0 g sat fat
- 0 g cholesterol
- 0 g sodium
- 12 g carbohydrate
- 3 g fiber
- 2 g sugar
- 2 g protein
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After carving your pumpkin, separate the seeds from the pumpkin “guts.” Clean and dry the seeds, then place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Next, drizzle them with about 1 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (I sometimes a dash of cayenne pepper, too). Bake them at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the tray every 5 minutes or so. Remove the seeds from the oven, let them cool and enjoy!
Slice the flesh of the pumpkin into thin slices. Heat canola oil in a large pot (about 3-4 inches high) over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, drop the pumpkin slices in and let them sizzle for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and season with a pinch of sea salt.
You can use canned pumpkin in pies, but homemade pumpkin puree is much better for a number of other culinary creations. My favorites include:
- Pumpkin Hummus: Add ¼ cup pureed pumpkin to every 1 cup of homemade or commercially purchased hummus.
- Pumpkin Oatmeal: Swirl a few spoonfuls of pumpkin puree into your hot bowl of morning oatmeal.
- Pumpkin Pancakes: Add ½ cup of pureed pumpkin to each batch of pancake batter.
- Pumpkin Smoothies: Add ¼ cup pureed pumpkin to 1 scoop of protein powder, a dash of cinnamon and 1 cup of low-fat milk; throw in some ice if desired and blend.
- Pumpkin Yogurt/Pudding: Mix plain yogurt or nonfat vanilla pudding with a spoonful of pumpkin puree, a dash of pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of slivered almonds.
What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin? Share your suggestions with us below.