Pumpkins have been an integral part of the fall festivities for centuries. The giant fruit is as good for our health as it tastes. Unlike many other fruits, every part of the pumpkin is edible, including its skin and seeds. The fall-favorite fruit is capable of inhibiting premature aging and preventing a wide variety of diseases as it has Vitamin C, Fiber, Magnesium, Zinc and omega 3 in it.
Healthiest and delicious ways to eat pumpkin:
Pumpkin is a very versatile food. Besides using it to make delectable pies and creamy lattes, add steamed chunks to a variety of recipes like parfait, stew, soups, salads and smoothies.
1. Pumpkin Smoothie:
Take steamed fresh organic pumpkin with unsweetened coconut water. Add organic almond butter, cinnamon and ice cubes. Put all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend on high speed.
2. Steamed Pumpkin:
Take steamed fresh organic pumpkin, organic butter, dried tarragon and salt to taste. Cut the pumpkin into 1/2-inch square chunks. Steam thoroughly. Next, pour the tarragon and melted butter mixture over top.
3. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:
By removing the inside of the pumpkin and separating the seeds from the excess matter. Take the seeds and place them on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spread them out so they are not laying on top of each other. Next, lightly sprinkle coarse salt over them. Preheat oven to 175 degrees and place them on the middle rack. Cook for 20 minutes.
4. Pumpkin Bars:
This is a healthier alternative to pumpkin pie.
Take flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, canned pumpkin, milk, coconut oil and pure vanilla extract.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet. Spread mixture into an oiled pan and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Crunchy Pumpkin Salad:
Take full advantage of the season’s most popular squash with this nutritious pumpkin salad.
Take baby spinach, cubed pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, crumbled gorgonzola, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and then place the pumpkin on a baking sheet already drizzled with olive oil and roast until its slightly browned. Then toss the pumpkin and spinach altogether, adding seeds, dried cherries and also gorgonzola. Seasoning it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
6. Pumpkin Lasagna:
Nothing tastes better than freshly baked lasagna on a chilly fall day.
Take pumpkin, lean ground turkey, low-fat ricotta, chopped onion, mushrooms, cubed zucchini, minced garlic cloves, cooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles, shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onion and mushrooms with olive oil and minced garlic, then add ground turkey. Set aside after cooked all the way through. Mix ricotta cheese with pumpkin puree. Place a layer of noodles in pan, then a layer of the pumpkin mixture. Top with turkey mixture, and repeat. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, then bake for 20 minutes.
7. Sweet and Sour Grilled Pumpkin:
This quick and easy idea serves as a simple appetizer. What’s needed is sugar pumpkin, pressed garlic clove, white sugar, kosher salt, and chopped fresh mint.
Preheat gas grill. Cut the pumpkin into half and scrape out its seeds and membrane. Peel each half and cut into slices. Whisk together olive oil, minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Add pumpkin slices and toss well to coat. Grill the slices over medium to slightly high heat for a few minutes, on each side. In a saucepan, mix vinegar, sugar and remaining garlic oil in the bowl. Cook it until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thick enough. Drizzle the sauce over the pumpkin. Garnish with mint and garlic.
8. Gourmet Pumpkin Pizza:
Featuring tasty cubes of pumpkin with pumpkin-based sauce.
Prepare whole-wheat pizza dough. Add cubed pumpkin, pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, sliced onion, red bell pepper, diced zucchini and cheese.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out dough and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned on the bottom. Mix the pumpkin puree and the tomato sauce, then spread it over the already baked crust. Toping it with pumpkin cubes, onion, bell pepper, zucchini and goat cheese. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
9. Roasted Pumpkin:
A side dish calls for minimal preparation time especially when it’s of roasted pumpkin. Simply seasoned with parsley and olive oil, this recipe is high in fiber and low in calories.
Have some cubed pumpkin, sweet potato, chopped carrot, onion, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the vegetables in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Garnish with parsley.
10. Stuffed Pumpkins:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak lentils in water, then drain and rinse. In a saucepan, place lentils, rice, carrots, celery, mushrooms and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Cover it and simmer for approx 30 minutes until the water is absorbed. Pierce pumpkins and bake for 20 minutes. Then cut the lid off from each pumpkin and scoop out its seeds. Fill them with the lentil mixture, then bake for another 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
How to make pumpkin puree:
1. Prep pumpkin
Take a four to six-pound bakeable pumpkin and slice it off the stem using a sharp, sturdy knife. Then cut the pumpkin in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds and attached strings with a metal spoon. Reserve seeds for roasting later on.
2. Get roasting
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Now sprinkle the pumpkin all over with salt and lay each of its half cut-side down on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper. Roast it until a knife can easily be inserted into its flesh all over and the inside starts feeling soft, for about 35 to 45 minutes.
3. Scrape the flesh
Allow pumpkin to sufficiently cool for at least one hour or so. Now use a large spoon to scrape the roasted flesh from the inside of the pumpkin, while leaving just the skin or shell behind.
4. Puree until smooth
Transfer roasted pumpkin flesh to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, about three to four minutes. Once finished, scoop the pumpkin puree into a food storage container and refrigerate immediately. If some water separation occurs after the puree sits in the fridge, drain it away before cooking with the puree.
5. How to eat pumpkin seeds:
Sprinkling them into salads, soups or cereals. Some people use pumpkin seeds for/to bake, using it as an ingredient for sweet or savory bread and cakes.