When we think of fall, we think of cooler temperatures, leaves changing colour and of course pumpkins! Some of my favourite Fall colours are the deep reds, oranges and mustard yellows. These are also the colours of many fruits and vegetables in season at this time.
Though pumpkins make wonderful decorations, we need to remember they are a great source of nutrients as well. The orange colour makes them a rich source of beta-carotene. This promotes healthy skin and immune system as well as good eye health and vision. They can be used for wonderful and warming dishes from soups and salads to casseroles and desserts.
What can we do with Pumpkins?
- Roast its seeds, they are chalk full of fibre and protein.
They’re perfect for snacking, as well as tossing into salads, or sprinkling over soups and savoury baked goods for added texture and flavour. Store in an airtight container to keep its freshness.
- Puree its flesh, to make pumpkin puree.
Slice the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a greased baking pan. Bake at 325°F until very tender (about 1 hour). Spoon pulp into a food processor or blender and puree. Drain well. Freeze the puree if you don’t plan on using it within 3 days.
Use your pumpkin puree to make the following delicious and simple recipes:
You will need:
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin
- 1 cup 1 % or skim milk
- ½ cup light Cheddar cheese (<20% M.F.), grated
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
- Preheat oven to 375° F. In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in 1 cup of the bread crumbs, pumpkin, milk, cheese, onion, salt and pepper.
- Grease or line with parchment paper a 9x9x2 inch (2 L) baking pan. Pour the mixture into the pan. Mix the rest of the bread crumbs with the margarine. Sprinkle on top.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Stick a knife into the middle, if comes out clean it is done.
- Broil for 2 minutes or until crumbs are browned. Cut into 9 pieces.
Per 90 g: 120 calories, 4 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein, 8% Vitamin A, 4% Vitamin C, 15% Calcium, 6% Iron.
You will need:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup dates, chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp orange zest, grated
- 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” baking pan and dust with flour.
- Mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, dates, walnuts (if using) and orange zest together in a large bowl.
- Mix together the remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir gently until moistened.
- Pour into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the baking pan. Cut into 32 bars.
Per bar: 90 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 10 g sugar, 2 g protein, 25% DV vitamin A, 2% DV Calcium, 2% DV Iron.
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