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.