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.
Most 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..