Dec 12, 2011

New Foods Adventures: Pumpkin & Seeds

Ok, so this might not exactly be "new," persay. But, maybe you don't have it very often or don't have it fresh. Well, I recently looked up pumpkin seed vitamin properties because I have some, but haven't been eating them much. And wow! They're full of goodness. So here's some info on Pumpkin and it's seeds....

Pumpkin Nutrients
Pumpkins on the whole are very high in potassium, and have good amounts of beta carotene and vitamin C. They are also a good source of calcium and fibre. It also has vitamin E, vitamin A, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein.

Pumpkin seeds are one of nature's almost perfect foods. They are a natural source of beneficial constituents such as carbohydrates, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K. They also have the minerals calcium, potassium, niacin, and phosphorous.

Snacking on ¼-1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds can deliver the nutrients mentioned at the outset of this article, as well as calcium, vitamin K, protein and important omega-3 fatty acids. Just one serving gives you almost half the recommended daily amounts of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, vitamin K, and zinc. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and monounsaturated fats.
 Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw, baked, roasted or toasted (with a little salt).

Preparing and Eating Pumpkin
If you're not use to having cooked, fresh pumpkin, just cut the top off and scoop out seeds, then replace the top back on and put it in the oven for about 1 hour on 400 or so (depends on size). When it's cooked through, pull it out. (careful, it drips and sags, so put a tray under). Then I scoop out the inside and mash it up. You can put it in ice cube trays and then pop the frozen cubes into a bag to use later. I use them in sauces, brownies, bread, pancakes, soups, etc.--and for baby food. Or instead of mashing, cut into cubes and throw into chili or curry. Tip: large pumpkins are really wet and not as well flavored, so either use small pumpkins for baking, or be prepared to cut back on some of the other liquids. And 1 can of pumpkin is about equal to 2 or 2 1/2 c. pumpkin. You can substitute pumpkin for many things (like the fat in baked goods). Have fun with it.

You can buy a bag of pumpkin seeds at health/nutrition stores (don't buy the expensive name brand fancy bag stuff). Throw them in your granola or ganola bars or chop up and throw in a topping or on a salad.

Try Some Recipes
Spinach Feta Stuffed Pumpkins
Pimpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin Spice Cookies

*info from articlesbase

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