All About Pumpkin!

Colorful maple leaves blanket my yard, the evenings beg for a roaring fire in the fireplace and fall produce abounds at the farmer's market. It's pumpkin season!

Fresh Pumpkins
Photo by Ladyheart,
I truly love everything about autumn including the availability of local squash. From acorn and butternut to spaghetti, I really enjoy them all. But, the best known player in the bunch is probably the pumpkin.

Nutritional Information About Pumpkins

One cup of fresh mashed pumpkin contains 49 calories and 2 grams of protein. Pumpkin is cholesterol and fat free. If you're looking to increase your vitamin C, E or riboflavin levels, pumpkin is a good source of these nutrients.

The number one vitamin found in pumpkin is vitamin A. One mashed cup contains 245 percent of your daily requirements!

Pumpkin is even good for your skin. Check out my article about pumpkin seed oil on Daily Glow.

Cooking and Baking with Pumpkin

Once you've sparked your curiosity about baking with pumpkin and gobbled up a homemade pumpkin pie, get ready to experiment. In addition to pumpkin bars, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cookies, the squash also works as an ingredient in a few healthy dishes.

Mashed Pumpkin
Photo by Maxstraeten,
Australians serve pumpkin soup as often as Americans enjoy a bowl of chicken noodle soup. During my time in Melbourne, Australia I sampled many versions of pumpkin soup. One of my favorite cooks, Alton Brown, offers his recipe for Squash Soup here.

Cubes of pumpkin caramelize beautifully under a drizzle of olive oil in a hot oven. Add a few sliced onions and green peppers to the pan to create a colorful autumn side dish.

If you're looking to skim a few calories from your dinner tonight, whip up mashed pumpkin in lieu of mashed potatoes. Boil and mash the squash the same way you prepare potatoes, then season with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and sweet cream butter.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

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