Pumpkin– the Holiday Beauty Food

pumpkinsPlump, round and orange pumpkin are virtually synonymous with fall.  Carved into gouls for Halloween  or baked  into pies for  Thanksgiving, pumpkins are a staple  when leaves turn red and gold.

No question that pumpkins are adorable, but are they healthy?  Short answer, yes.  Pumpkins are packed  with beta carotene and vitamin A.  Even better, 4 oz of roasted pumpkin   clocks in at less than 40 calories.  By comparison, the same size portion of  roast potatoes add up to  tktk.  Pumpkin also has respectable amounts of vitamin C.  Despite  its stringy texture , it is  not a good source of fiber.

Adding Pumpkin to Your Menus

When selecting pumpkins for eating, rather than carving look for small, firm and deeply orange pumpkins. WHen making pies, most people use canned pumpkin puree.  Its good, but fresh, young pumpkin is absolutely delicious.   Here are two variations of one  of my favorite pumpkin  recipes:

Savory Roast Pumpkin

Ingredients: 1 small pumpkin, peeled and  cut up in 2 inch chunks ( save the seeds), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 medium onion, sectioned, 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss  all ingredients together. Cover cookie sheet with non-stick tin foil. Spread onins and pumpkin on cookie sheet.  After 10 minutes flip over to caramalize on the other side.  Cook additional 10-15 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife.

This is a lovely side dish with roast chicken or turkey.  You can also use  it in the now ever so trendy rice bowls.  Layer over  freshly  cooked rice or quinoa in a bowl.  Add a few sauteed spinach leaves and top with a sprinkle  with  a sprinkle  toasted pine nuts.

Sweet Roast Pumpkin

Ingredients:  1 small  pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2 inch  chunks, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar or  mayple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss pumpkin oil and salt.  Cover cooking sheet with non-stick tin foil. Spread pumkin out  on the  sheet.  Cook 10 minutes then flip over and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Cook another 10 minutes.

Sweet roast pumpkins raises plain pork chops to a whole new level.

 

 

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