Simple Innovative Meal Planning – Love Eating
It’s that time of year. Pumpkin… everything.
The great news is that pumpkin is really good for you. It’s a great source of fiber, zinc, potassium, copper, manganese, riboflavin, vitamins A, C and E, iron and calcium.
Adding this versatile fruit to your diet can reduce blood pressure, protect eye health, support your immune system, improve bone health and give your skin a healthy glow. It can also lower your cancer risks and is a recommended addition to a diabetic diet.
Not only is it nutritious; it is also low in calories, just 49 calories in a 1-cup serving.
Pumpkin is also extremely diverse. It really doesn’t have much flavor on its own, so you can enjoy it as a main course, a drink, a sweet snack or baked good.
The key is to use recipes that are healthy. It doesn’t do any good to take a healthy food and load it with sugar and fat.
LET’S START BY COVERING THE BASICS
The great debate: canned or fresh.
Of course fresh is better, but it can also be a little inconvenient. The benefit of fresh is that you know exactly what you are getting without any mystery. You also will have the seeds. Some may find them an inconvenience but they are actually a terrific healthy snack. They are high in magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, iron and a great source of protein. And preparing fresh pumpkin isn’t as complicated as you may think.
What about canned?
There is a lot of convenience in keeping a few cans of this wonderful fruit in the pantry. It has all the same nutritional benefits and a good shelf life.
Some things to note…
The canned version is not 100% pumpkin. It’s actually a blend of squashes. I know – I know the label says 100% pumpkin. They aren’t breaking the law, any squash that falls within the same family as pumpkin can be “counted” as pumpkin. Just be aware this is why fresh pumpkin is a lighter orange and a different texture.
Pumpkin… not everyone
I was shocked to learn that not everyone likes this delicious fruit. Don’t worry even if you think you don’t like it I have some ideas on how you can incorporate it into your diet and never even know it’s there. The next time you make chili, a casserole or even spaghetti, stir in a few cups of it. Since pumpkin has no flavor of its own you won’t even taste it. You will still get the benefit of the added fiber.
Adding pumpkin stretches your recipe to make more servings without adding a ton of calories. Plus the fiber will fill you up faster and assist digestion – great for individuals watching their weight.
You can also stir ¼ cup into your oatmeal or plain Greek yogurt along with a scoop of APS ISOMORPH 28 Cinnamon Graham Cracker protein. Add it to your daily smoothie for a health boost.
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