In celebration of Halloween and this pumpkin-y time of year, here are some healthy recipes for tantalizing your taste buds. This first one is from PureWow.com…..
ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP
Makes 4 to 6 servings
One 3- to 4-pound cheese pumpkin
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 leek, halved and thinly sliced
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Using a paring knife, cut a tapered circle around the stem of the pumpkin (as if you were making a jack-o’-lantern). Remove the top of the pumpkin and trim any stringy bits. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds with a spoon and discard (or save, if desired).
3. Place the rosemary, thyme and sliced leek in the cavity of the pumpkin. Pour in the chicken stock and season with black pepper. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, then replace the top of the pumpkin.
4. Transfer the whole pumpkin to the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until the exterior of the pumpkin is golden brown and shiny, and the flesh inside is very tender, 1½ to 2 hours. (If the exterior is browning too quickly, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.)
5. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and take off the top. To serve the soup, scoop several spoonfuls of pumpkin flesh from the inside, place in a bowl and top with a ladleful of broth. Finish with more pepper and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
How about some healthy pumpkin seed granola for breakfast or snacking? Check out this nutritious recipe from Leealicious…..
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup pecan nut, pieces or chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Preheat your oven to 300 F.
- In a large bowl stir together all ingredients until evenly combined.
- Place mixture on a large baking sheet and bake for 30 – 45 minutes until crisped and browned to your liking. Toss every 10 – 15 minutes.
- Let granola cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container.
And the seeds are one of the most nutritious parts of a pumpkin, so how about making some pumpkin seed milk? Use this recipe from Dr. Laurie Steelsmith (www.DrSteelsmith.com) for Vitacost.com to get you started….
Pumpkin Seed Milk
Pumpkin seeds pack a lot of punch when it comes to nutrition. Those small, flat, green gems offer a wide range of benefits that make them an ideal anytime-of-the-year snack, not just in October when carving jack-o-lanterns supplies us with a few days’ worth of crunchy, toasted seeds.
And, believe it or not, pumpkin seeds can be turned into milk. Who would have guessed that simply blending such emerald-hued seeds with water would produce a liquid as white as dairy milk? Before I share my secret recipe, let me give you a rundown on a few of the potential benefits of adding pumpkin seeds to your diet.
Pumpkin seeds contain:
- Magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, and zinc. Zinc is important for healthy prostate function, immune function and bone health.*
- Alpha-linolenic acid – an essential fat that is supportive of healthy cell membranes.*
- Phytosterols, or natural plant compounds that are similar to the body’s cholesterol.
- The amino acid L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, an important brain neurotransmitter.
- Combine ingredients in high-speed blender; blend on high for one minute.
- Strain liquid.
- Add vanilla and/or optional sweetener, if desired.
Want more ways to use the seeds? No problem! Here’s 3 tasty-sounding recipes from self.com to try….
These flavors “give the seeds a light and zesty taste while adding a little vitamin C to help keep the colds at bay during the weather drop,” says Alpert. Not in a snacking mood? Alpert says this also works as a topping to soup or salad.
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
- 1 tbsp organic, grass-fed butter
Coat seeds with butter then toss with ginger and orange zest. Roast at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes.
Emma Chapman, one-half the brains behind A Beautiful Mess, suggests this tropical mixture, eyeballing the portions to taste.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Toasted coconut flakes
Melt honey in a pan, then add seeds and coconut flakes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
“If you like your seeds with a little kick, I certainly do, then cayenne is my go-to spice for all its antioxidants,” says Alpert. “These also make the perfect pre-dinner, cocktail party nosh instead of the traditional nuts.”
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
Coat seeds with oil then sprinkle with pepper and paprika.
Roast at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes.
Check out the blog post for even more variations:
And don’t forget your four-legged friend! These would make a great Halloween treat for Fido….
Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Dog Treats
Think of all those seasonal treats, from pumpkin lattes to pumpkin pancakes. The warm aroma fills your house with all kinds of deliciousness, which means you probably can’t get in one bite without Fido wagging his tail and asking for a piece of the pie. Finally, put an end to the begging by letting pup have his own pumpkin fun. After all, pumpkin is actually good for dogs.
If your pup is anything like mine, she’ll love the taste of this sweet squash! Meanwhile, you’ll love the fact that pumpkin is packed with nutrients, including carotenoids, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. This kind of nutritional profile helps your dog maintain a healthy coat and skin, while supporting eye health and their immune system. Plus, this fall favorite is a good source of fiber, which is great for your dog’s digestive system. If your pup could stand to lose a few pounds, the fiber — paired with low sodium and cholesterol contents — can also help keep her belly full and calorie count in check.
As you’re baking your way through the holidays, don’t forget your four-legged friend. These pumpkin dog treats are easy to make and features one of their all-time favorites: peanut butter! I used whole grain brown rice flour to make these treats healthy and suitable for dogs with allergies. And for an extra nutritional boost, I added flaxseed meal (mixed with water) as an alternative to eggs. Among its many benefits, flaxseed helps keep their fur soft and shiny.
2 ½ cups whole grain brown rice flour
¼ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
6 Tbsp. (or 3 oz) water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together flaxseed meal and water and let sit for two minutes.
- In a separate bowl, add pumpkin and peanut butter and stir to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients, including the flaxseed-water mixture, and mix until well blended. Note: Add water as needed to make the dough workable. Generally, it should be dry and crumbly, though.
- Pack the dough into a ball. On a floured surface, roll into desired thickness. Cut into shapes with a knife or fun-shaped cookie cutter.
- Place treats on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp. Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.
Related Self-help Health posts:
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Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.