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Two Great Pumpkin Recipes

Posted 10/5/2016 by UHBlog

Want to incorporate other nutrition-packed seasonal foods in your diet? Ask us how.

Two Great Pumpkin Recipes

It’s not fall until supermarkets and fast-food chains offer pumpkin-flavored varieties of everything from potato chips and cereal to yogurt, and even barbecue sauce. The ubiquitous orange gourds provide plenty of nutritional benefits, but you want to be savvy about how you enjoy them, says registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic.

“It’s important that people eat pumpkin, not just pumpkin-flavored things, and not pumpkin products made with lots of added sugar,” she says.

According to Jamieson-Petonic, canned pure pumpkin (without sugar or salt) and fresh pumpkin pack the same nutritional punch. Among pumpkins many benefits are:

  • It’s a low-calorie vegetable containing just 26 calories for a 3.3-ounce serving
  • It contains no saturated fat or cholesterol
  • It’s rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals (like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorous) and vitamins
  • It provides 246 percent of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A, which supports skin, mucus membranes and sight
  • It’s rich in B-complex vitamins, which boost metabolism at the cellular level
  • It contains flavonoids, which help maintain cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation

Jamieson-Petonic recommends using canned pumpkins in recipes if you’re on a budget, pressed for time or have a hankering for pumpkin bread in April.

“Pumpkins are $10 or $20 at a pumpkin patch because they charge by weight, but you can get a can of pumpkin for $1 or $1.50 at the grocery store,” she says. “And if we look at pumpkin a little differently and see some of its wonderful, healthy benefits, maybe we can increase consumption throughout the year.”

If you prefer fresh pumpkins, select ones that are unblemished and feel heavy for their size. Smaller ones are best for baking.

To bake pumpkins, slice them in quarters, remove the seeds and place slices skin-side-down in a roasting pan. Add water to cover the bottom of the pan, then cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil. Roast at 300 degrees F for about an hour, until the pumpkin slices easily. After it cools slightly, cut the flesh away from the shell. Chop the flesh into chunks and puree in a food processor. Freeze processed pumpkin in freezer bags; defrost on a glass pie plate in the microwave for two or three minutes.

And, don’t forget about the pumpkin seeds, Jamieson-Petonic says. Roast them in the oven for a delicious snack filled with vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants.

Here are two of her favorite pumpkin recipes:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is much healthier than artificial pumpkin-flavored concoctions available at quick-service restaurants and coffeehouses.

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 Tbsp. canned pumpkin
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 2 Tbsp. canned coconut milk

Combine coffee, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in a mason jar, replace the lid and shake vigorously; pour into a mug. Add coconut milk to the jar, replace the lid and shake until frothy. Pour milk over coffee and top with a sprinkle of extra pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

Pumpkin Soufflé

Jamieson-Petonic says this is just as delicious as pumpkin pie, but lower in fat and calories because there’s no crust or whipped cream garnish.

  • 3 egg whites
  • 21-oz. can pumpkin
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or brown sugar alternative
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup milk

Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F. Line 6 ramekins or coffee cups with waxed paper around the edges and inside.

Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff; set aside. Using electric mixer, blend remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Gently fold egg whites into the pumpkin mixture one-third at a time until incorporated. Pour mixture into cups, leaving at least a half an inch at the top to allow room for the soufflé to rise. Place cups on a baking tray and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Doneness can be determined by a light brown color, and the soufflé being (set)--not jiggly when moved. Do not open the oven door during baking. Use the oven light to check. When soufflé is removed from over, insert a toothpick and see if it comes out clean.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic, M.Ed., RDN, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Jamieson-Petonic or any other health care professional online.

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