Pumpkin is a Great Nutritional Choice


Gratineed Pumpkin in the Pan

Pumpkins are a food of the New World.  They  originated in the Americas, and the oldest evidence places them in Mexico. 

Many people don't consider pumpkin for their daily diets.  It is not eaten as food by most people with the exception of pumpkin pie.  This is a gross oversight.  Pumpkin, when prepared properly, easily has its place among great nutritional and flavor options to the standard potato, bread, and rice side dishes.  It is high in potassium, and antioxidants, especially vitamin A, and it is low in calories and high in fiber.  It carries a low glycemic load for a starchier vegetable, so it doesn't spike blood sugars like a potato would. 

Antioxidants are of course the hot topic in the nutrition world, battling disease and cancer, but fiber is an important addition, and a big part of why vegetable servings are such an important part of the daily diet.

Pumpkin is a lovely base for savory dishes.  It makes a beautiful low-calorie soup, particularly when paired with ginger and onion.  It curries nicely, which can make it a great side or wonderful for a vegetarian meal.  It pairs with foods that one wouldn't ordinarily think of, such as feta or cotija cheeses.    It can be made into pasta dough such as gnocchi, or even as a ravioli stuffing.  It can be paired with goat cheese for tasty salad toppings.  They can be pickled and gratineed, made into risotto, and made into chicken chili.  The vegetarian applications of pumpkin are nearly endless.

Small pumpkins can be prepared like summer squash or zucchini.  Large pumpkins are kind of tough to peel, although not impossible, and are easier to roast in halves, with the result being scooped out.

Adding pumpkin to a healthy diet can add some powerful nutritional punch, and certainly variety.

Packed with super seeds

Pumpkin seeds and their oils are also packed with goodness. They are a fantastic source of zinc, an essential nutrient for our immune system. The seeds are also a good source of protein and fibre, as well as minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and iron.

The seeds we consume and cook with year-round are from pumpkin species that aren’t commonly grown here, as you well know if you’ve ever scooped the white seeds out of sugar or carving pumpkins. White seeds have the hull, whereas dark green seeds come from pumpkins with hull-less seeds. The latter are sometimes known as Styrian pumpkin seeds in Mediterranean regions or pepitas, a Spanish culinary term.

We’ve incorporated the nutritional goodness and autumn-pleasing flavour of pumpkin into these pumpkin recipes. Enjoy!

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