Friday, November 2, 2012

Benefits of Pumpkin

Although it is always better to go with fresh pumpkin if you have it, canned is still a healthy alternative.  I don’t usually condone anything in a can but in the case of pumpkin I don’t mind so much.  It does not contain fat and it is about 40 calories for a ½ serving, which includes 1 gram of protein and 4 grams of fiber.  Do your best to take advantage of pumpkin being in season and go with fresh.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

If you choose to go with a fresh pumpkin from your farmers market or the local pumpkin patch, when you are carving them out, think twice before throwing out the seeds.  Pumpkin seeds are full of protein and essential fatty acids among other things.  They provide protection against some forms of cancer, free radical damage, high blood pressure and arthritis; not to mention they are just so dang delicious!
Personally, I love to add pumpkin to my oatmeal, protein shakes and I make a mean pumpkin spiced pancake.

Pumpkin Recipe

 Courtesy of Low Fat Cooking:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt (I omit)
1/2 cup fresh pumpkin or pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used stevia)
1 egg (I prefer flaxseed in substitute of eggs)
2 egg whites
1 tbsp canola oil (coconut oil is great)
1/2 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, sugar, egg and egg whites and oil. Stir flour and spice mixture into egg and sugar mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips. Empty batter into pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Makes 16 squares
Per Square: Calories 63, Calories from Fat 14, Total Fat 1.5g (sat 0.3mg), Cholesterol 13mg, Sodium 30mg, Carbohydrate 10.1g, Fiber 1.5g, Protein 2.2g

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