As the leaves change color and a gentle chill fills the air, the arrival of fall brings with it an array of comforting flavors and ingredients. One such ingredient that takes center stage during this season is pumpkin. Beyond being a symbol of Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. CMC Outpatient Nutrition Services shares a variety of healthy ways to cook with pumpkins and has a few fun facts about pumpkins for us too!
Pumpkin Soup with a Twist
Warm up your autumn evenings with a creamy and nutritious Pumpkin Soup. Blend roasted pumpkin with vegetable broth, a hint of nutmeg, and a touch of coconut milk for richness. To add an extra layer of flavor, consider incorporating roasted garlic or caramelized onions. This soup is not only satisfying but also low in calories and high in fiber, making it a fantastic choice for those seeking a lighter yet comforting option.
The word pumpkin comes from the Greek word, pepon, which means “large melon.”
Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal
Upgrade your morning routine with a bowl of Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal. Stir pumpkin puree, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup into your cooked oats. This hearty breakfast is not only filling but also offers a dose of beta-carotene, which supports eye health. Top your oatmeal with chopped nuts, seeds, and a dollop of Greek yogurt for added crunch and creaminess.
Native Americans grew and ate pumpkins and their seeds long before the pilgrims reached this continent.
Pumpkin and Kale Salad
For a vibrant and nutrient-packed meal, create a Pumpkin and Kale Salad. Roast pumpkin cubes until they are tender and slightly caramelized, then toss them with fresh kale, pomegranate seeds, and a zesty vinaigrette. The combination of sweet pumpkin and tart pomegranate creates a delightful balance of flavors, while the kale adds a dose of vitamins and minerals.
October 26th is National Pumpkin Day.
Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili
As the evenings grow cooler, a hearty bowl of Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili is sure to hit the spot. This chili brings together the earthy flavors of pumpkin, black beans, and warm spices. Loaded with protein and fiber, this recipe provides a satisfying and nutritious meal. Serve it with whole-grain bread or a side of brown rice for a complete and balanced dinner.
The earliest pumpkin pies made by pilgrims and early settlers were made by hollowing out a pumpkin, filling the shell with milk, honey, and spices, and baking it.
Pumpkin Energy Bites
For a convenient and energizing snack, whip up some Pumpkin Energy Bites. Mix pumpkin puree, rolled oats, nut butter, honey, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Shape the mixture into bite-sized balls and refrigerate for a quick and wholesome on-the-go snack. These bites are packed with fiber and healthy fats, making them an excellent choice for keeping your energy levels up throughout the day.
Pumpkins are actually a fruit.
Start your day with a creamy and refreshing Pumpkin Smoothie. Blend pumpkin puree with a frozen banana, unsweetened almond milk, a touch of vanilla extract, and a pinch of cinnamon. This smoothie offers a balance of carbohydrates, fiber, and a hint of natural sweetness, making it a perfect option for a quick breakfast or post-workout recovery.
These delicious ideas from CMC Outpatient Nutrition Services should empower you to embrace the delightful flavors of pumpkin and fall in healthy ways. Whether you’re looking for comforting warmth or a burst of nutrition, these recipes have you covered. So, head to your local market, grab a pumpkin or two, and let your culinary creativity run wild this season. Your taste buds and body will surely thank you for these nourishing treats.
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