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9.27.2013

Healthy Recipes from the Pumpkin Patch

The days are cooler and the smell of wood burning in the fireplace fills the air. Fall is finally here, and with it comes a healthy, nutritious ingredient used in many seasonal dishes—pumpkin!  Best of all, pumpkin is often an inexpensive ingredient.  You can buy canned pumpkin at your grocery store, or you can scoop out the flesh from a pumpkin yourself.

Fresh pumpkins are not just for carving or decoration. Pumpkin is a very healthy food–according to the Mayo Clinic, it’s packed with nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin A and iron.  As pumpkin-picking season begins, start thinking about what healthy recipes you can make using pumpkin to serve at upcoming holidays and get-togethers.

You can go pumpkin-picking at a variety of places—they can be found at grocery stores, nurseries and garden centers, and some local farms.  When picking pumpkins that you intend to use in recipes, choose pumpkins without blemishes that are firm and heavy for their size.

Not sure where to find pumpkin recipes that are both healthy and delicious?  Consider trying one or several of these ideas:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t throw the seeds out! Pumpkin seeds are chock-full of healthy nutrients and are a good source of fiber, potassium, and protein. Once you’ve carved your pumpkin, clean off the seeds and place them on a baking sheet. Set the oven to 325 degrees and cook for about 5-8 minutes.  You can snack on them plain or toss them into a salad.

Pumpkin Bread

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked pumpkin bread to bring in the fall season.  This recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2011/11/14/healthy-whole-wheat-pumpkin-bread/

Pumpkin Soup

Don’t buy a can of puree to make pumpkin soup–create your own pumpkin puree. Scoop out the pulp and puree it in a food processor or blender. Try using it to make this tasty pumpkin soup:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-recipes/NU00424/METHOD=print

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

This is a treat that turns plain oatmeal into a seasonal, yummy breakfast. Try this simple recipe:

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2010/11/10/baked-pumpkin-oatmeal-for-one/

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple-Walnut Syrup

Spice up your breakfast with this scrumptious recipe:

http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001854046,00.html

Pumpkin-Walnut Cake

This autumn treat will put a smile on your family’s face.  Try this delicious dessert:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/pumpkin_walnut_cake.html

Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers

Check out this colorful, spicy entree that will turn up the heat at your dinner table.  Just add some fresh tomato salsa and avocado to give it a real Southwestern kick. Try this recipe:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/southwestern_pumpkin_burgers.html

 

These healthy recipes can help you and your family celebrate fall.  Still craving more pumpkin or other yummy, seasonal treats?  Visit our fall recipe board on Pinterest for more healthy recipe ideas!