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973741 tn?1342346373

Pumpkin for healthy eating!

I was just reading about the health benefits of eating pumpkin!  From our eyesight, to gastrointestinal benefits, weight loss, cardiovascular health . . . pumpkin seems to be very good for us.  Ideas for incorporating pumpkin into our diet?
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649848 tn?1534637300
Have you tried a pumpkin smoothie?  

I don't really measure all my ingredients and they aren't always the same, but this is approximately what I put in a Pumpkin Smoothie...

Approximately 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (make sure it's 100% pumpkin)
1/2 cup (or less if you want the smoothie thick like ice cream) almond (original no sugar added),      
                       full fat coconut or regular milk
fresh ginger (to taste).  If you can't get fresh ginger you can use powdered.
cinnamon (to taste)
cloves (to taste)
ice cubes

Add ingredients to blender and blend till smooth.  

I often add 1/2 avocado to my smoothie to get the extra healthy fat as it increases fullness and the smoothie stays with me longer.  Sometimes I'll even add a frozen banana.

You can also add flax or chia seeds for an extra boost of healthy fats and/or a protein powder for extra protein.  I'm always confused on which is the best protein powder; just make sure it doesn't have a lot of added sugar.  

Note:  you can also use pumpkin pie spice, if you prefer.  The spices make the smoothie sweet enough for me, but if you need extra sweetness, you can add a teaspoon of raw honey or a little stevia.  

The spices listed are also good for various things.  For instance, ginger is known to settle the stomach; cinnamon is known to help balance the blood sugar, cloves help freshen the breath, etc.

The nice thing about smoothies is that you can add just about anything to them, increase the amount of pumpkin, etc and as long as you stay with healthy ingredients, you have a healthy meal/snack.
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
pumpkin bean soup

chop an onion
chop a carrot
chop a bell pepper
1 t olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, (I use the jarred minced garlic and scoop out a couple spoonfuls)
1 jalapeno minced (optional)
2 t soy sauce
2 1/2 t chili powder
1 t oregano
1 t cumin
1 can low salt diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c pureed pumpkin (buy it from a can, I use that)
2 c vegetable broth or water
3 c cooked beans (I use canned low sodium black beans)
1 T lime juice
Garnish w low fat sour cream, cilantro, avocado, fresh diced tomato, etc.

Cook onion, carrot and bell pepper in olive oil about 5 min just until it is about to brown and is soft.  Add jalapeno, garlic and soy sauce. Add spices. cook for 30 seconds to a minute, add everything else except lime juice. Stir and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or however long to mingle flavors.  then turn down heat and stir in lime juice.  Put in bowls and garnish.
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
Pumpkin is said to help with weight loss, sharper vision, boosting immunity, better skin, lowers your cancer risk and helps with diabetes.  Pretty good stuff!  

I have used it too when someone in my house has loose stools which is less glamorous but still helpful.
649848 tn?1534637300
Isn't it vitamin A that helps with the vision?  I'm not sure what all other vitamins/minerals pumpkin has in it, but I know it's healthy for us, as long as we leave out the sugar and whipped cream... lol

I did not know it could help take care of loose stools - definitely less glamorous, still a nice thing to know.
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