Pumpkin, It’s Not Just For Pies Anymore

Easily the most popular of the winter squash, the pumpkin has long remained in the domain of holiday desserts.  Too bad as it is an amazing nutritional source.  1 cup of pumpkin puree contains Calories 49, Protein 2 grams, Carbohydrate 12 grams, Dietary Fiber 3 grams, Calcium 37 mg, Iron 1.4 mg, Magnesium 22 mg, Potassium 564 mg, Zinc 1 mg, Selenium .50 mg, Vitamin C 12 mg, Niacin 1 mg, Folate 21 mcg, Vitamin A 2650 IU, Vitamin E 3 mg.

Pumpkin recipesMost importantly pumpkin is a great source for beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant.  Scientific research has produced a lot of evidence that beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease. Additionally, beta-carotene provides protection against other diseases as well as some of the degenerative aspects of aging.

As far as food trends go, pumpkin is gaining steam.  The seeds have become a popular snack food over the past decade being similar in taste and texture to much smaller sunflower seeds.  Pumpkin gnocchi has become quite popular in Italian-American families that want to honor both the Old and New Worlds on their Thanksgiving tables.  Pumpkin bread is a very common quick bread found throughout the holiday season.  And anyone who is a fan of cheese cake and pumpkin pie needs to try a pumpkin cheese cake.

My favorite non-pie pumpkin recipe has long been part of my soup repertoire – Pumpkin Curry Soup.  It’s delicious, exotic, nutritious and best of all easy.  Click HERE for my recipe.  It’s perfect for Vegans but that’s just happenstance..

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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