Cool fall weather is upon us and we want to cozy up with comfort food!
We may crave pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes, but pumpkins are actually a more versatile and healthy food that can be incorporated into savory dishes throughout the fall and winter.
Pumpkin is a superfood high in beta-carotene (vitamin A), potassium, vitamin C and fibre. We often correlate the orange fruits and vegetables as high potassium foods, which help keep a healthy blood pressure. Pumpkin and squash also contain other essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper and manganese, which also aid in regulating blood pressure and contribute to our heart health. The soluble fibre in squash can help reduce ‘lousy’ LDL cholesterol and promotes a feeling of fullness, which can also help control our urge to eat as it contributes to satiety.
Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of fibre, healthy fats and iron…so instead of discarding the seeds, scoop them out and simmer with some water and a little salt for 15 minutes. Drain the water and mix with some olive or avocado oil, a little salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Roast in the oven until lightly browned. https://wholefully.com/roasted-pumpkin-seeds-six-ways/
Butternut squash soup is also a fall favorite, but you can make an equally delicious and nutritious soup with pumpkin to warm up in the cool weather. You can start with roasted pumpkin and add some carrots, onion, celery and season the soup with warm spices like nutmeg, peppercorns, and sage in a base of chicken or vegetable stock. Once the soup has cooked, whip it up with an immersion blender and add a touch of cream or coconut milk.
I made this Butternut squash soup recipe with a mix of roasted butternut squash, pumpkin and carrots to savour all the flavours of these favourite fall vegetables!
Complete this meal with natural peanut butter spread on rye crispbread (Wasa or Ryvita crackers).
My children and I also enjoy making pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars and pumpkin baked oatmeal throughout the year!
Nutrition information adapted from Health Benefits of Pumpkins and Winter Squash – MeMD Blog
29 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin (Squash) – Good Health All (Retrieved November 2, 2022)