Canned pumpkin is only allotted a tiny amount of real estate on the grocery store shelf most of the year, but when Thanksgiving dinner promotions begin canned pumpkin shares the spotlight with the turkey. The spotlight should be on this nutrient rich, versatile canned food year around to promote it’s health benefits, low cost and ease of preparation.
Pumpkin is one of nature’s best sources of beta-crytoxanthin , a plant compound that reduces the risk of insulin resistance, preventing the development of type 2 diabetes. Pumpkin is also a rich source of vitamin A, which helps strengthen our immune system.
Pick up a can of pumpkin (not pie filling) next time your at the grocery store and try it in some of these easy, delicious and healthy recipes.
Start your morning our with a healthy breakfast of pumpkin pancakes. Use your favorite pancake recipe and replace one-half of the liquid with canned pumpkin.
Pumpkin is a rich source of fiber and a muffin is a tasty way to incorporate more fiber into your daily diet. Same as with pancakes, replace one-half of the liquid in your favorite muffin recipe with canned pumpkin.
Sauté a small chopped onion until tender, then add two cups each of canned pumpkin and chicken stock. Stir in a pinch of crystallized ginger and simmer until heated through (about 10 minutes). Add a splash of half and half and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Creamy Mac and Cheese
Creamy, healthy mac and cheese that even kids will love. Stir in one-half cup of canned pumpkin into your favorite mac and cheese recipe.
Orange Mashed Potatoes
Use sweet potatoes instead of white Russets for your favorite mashed recipe and add one cup of canned pumpkin for a colorful and healthy bowl of orange mashed potatoes.
Sauté chopped garlic and shallots (1-2 each) in two teaspoons of olive oil. Stir in 1 ½ cup of chicken stock and one cup of canned pumpkin. Simmer five minutes. Toss with hot cook penne pastas and chopped fresh basil
Stir in one cup of pumpkin to polenta recipe for a creamier texture and orange color.
Chickpea Pumpkin Dip
In a food processor, process one can of chickpeas, one can of pumpkin, one clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Here’s a sneaky way to make an all time favorite treat a little more healthy – just stir in one-fourth cup of canned pumpkin into your favorite brownie recipe and bake as usual.
Prepare one box of instant vanilla pudding mix, using one cup less milk. Stir in one-half cup caned pumpkin and a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Gently fold in one cup of whipped topping. Use fat-free pudding and whipped topping to make this a low-calorie, fat-free healthy treat.
The Weather Channel