The word “superfood” has used a lot over the past several years to describe a food that is nutrient-rich and full of vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin is a wonderful but often overlooked superfood.
Did you know that pumpkin is good for your vision and it’s a high-fiber food? Pumpkin can help with weight loss or be a part of any healthy eating plan. Recently, you may have seen the blog I wrote about clean eating. Pumpkin is a food that is very versatile for those who practice clean eating.
Each cup of pumpkin contains about 2.7 grams of fiber, as well as vitamins C, E, and B-6, magnesium, folate, potassium, niacin, phosphorous, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, and even some copper.
Pumpkin is considered a low-macro food, with a cup containing less than 50 calories, 1 gram of fat, and no cholesterol. Classified as a fruit, pumpkin rates low on the scale for carbohydrates, with only 12 carbs per cup of pumpkin flesh.
To prepare pumpkin, simply cut the pumpkin open and remove the seeds and stringy pulp inside. Keep the seeds, because you can roast and eat them for additional fiber and nutrients. They are great in salads, or as a snack instead of popcorn or chopped vegetables. More on pumpkin seeds in a moment!
Once your pumpkin shell is clean, you can chop it into cubes and use it for soups or stews, turn it into pumpkin puree, or even add pieces to salads! Spiced pumpkin puree blended with a little bit of bouillon is a great alternative to the fat- and carb-laden mashed potatoes so popular at this time of year.
The pumpkin seeds are easy to roast. They are high in magnesium, zinc, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. The nutrients will help promote better sleep, digestive health, and weight loss. For men, pumpkin seeds are also good for promoting reproductive health.
To roast pumpkin seeds, make sure they are clean and completely separated from the stringy pulp found inside the pumpkin. After you have rinsed them thoroughly, you may want to lay them on a paper towel to dry a bit. While they are still wet, you can add some seasoning. Be creative, as there are many spices that will work well with pumpkin seeds.
You will want to heat your oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast them for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how wet they were going into the oven. Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds to ensure you don’t burn or over-roast them. Once they are out of the oven, you can store them in an air-tight container for whenever you’d like to use them.
This is the perfect time of year to get some pumpkin into your diet. Chop up a couple of extra pumpkins, because the flesh will freeze well in air-tight containers or freezer bags in your freezer, allowing you to eat pumpkin long after the season passes.
To ensure you are getting all the right nutrients your body needs to be healthy and strong, please check out my website to learn more about Nature’s Sunshine Essential Oils and other wellness products