As soon as fall rolls in and October starts, the pumpkins come out! But now that October has passed, what do you do with all your pumpkins? Pumpkins are pretty, trendy, and represent the weather and holidays approaching – like Thanksgiving. They are the perfect food to eat on a chilly day!
Let’s go beyond pumpkin pie and learn more about pumpkins.
Before we get into meal and snacks ideas, let’s breakdown the nutrient-density of the pumpkin:
- Potassium, which plays a part in keeping your heart and muscles working smoothly.
- Vitamin C, which keeps your skin healthy and immune system functioning properly.
- Vitamin A, which plays a key role in your eye health.
- Beta-carotene, which is believed to stop the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, or “bad” cholesterol. This can prevent the formation of plaque in your arteries, reducing your risk of heart disease.
8 Pumpkin Meals and Snacks
Pumpkin has a mild sweetness and nutty flavor, similar to squash. It pairs well with sweeter foods and grains. It can be steamed, boiled or baked!
Here are 8 ways you can eat your leftover (or new) pumpkins!
1. Homemade granola bars: Mix together oats, pureed pumpkin, almond milk, eggs, chocolate chips (if desired), vanilla extract, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Bake it at 350°F for 20 minutes and voila!
3. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted and eaten as a mid-day snack, mixed with cottage cheese, raisins and nuts or to top your salad off!
4. Baked pumpkin is a simple way to enjoy pumpkin and can be eaten as a side dish or as a snack. Start by removing the stem with a knife and scrape away the stringy interior. Turn upside down in a pan and bake at 350°F for 40 minutes. When it is done, season with your favorite pumpkin spices, such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.
5. Pumpkin smoothie can be made with canned or fresh pumpkin puree! Mix the puree with a frozen banana, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, skin milk and ice for a yummy treat.
6. Pumpkin soup is perfect for a chilly fall day. Pumpkin puree gives soup a thick and creamy texture, which can really fill you up.
7. Create a tasty pumpkin side dish by pairing pumpkin with brown rice, quinoa, apricots or raisins. Also, any recipe that contains butternut squash can be easily swapped for pumpkin!
Remember, this time of year anything goes with pumpkin. So get imaginative with your dishes, you may surprise yourself with the delicious dishes you’ll come up with!
Your turn to take action: In what way will you incorporate pumpkin into your meals this month? Try out our different tips and let me know which ones you liked!