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Vegetable of the Week: Pumpkin

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Happy Halloween!

Nutritional Value of Pumpkin

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body.

Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts(1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)

Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg

How do I eat pumpkin? Use cooked pumpkin instead of oil or butter when making baked goods.
Here are a few recipes that you can try out. I tried out the first one on Monday’s Spinning class. They loved it! They were easy to make, quick, fat free, and nutritious!

Ellen’s Quick and Fat free Pumpkin Muffins

One box of Pillsbury Quick Break Pumpkin Mix
1 15 ounce can of 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup water
2 Eggs
And NO OIL!

Follow the directions on the box to cook.
Makes: 12 muffins
Optional: Cranberries, raisins, nuts, vanilla whey protein!!!!

Hint: Make sure you fill each muffin cup to the top. They are dense and will not rise too much.

Pumpkin Bites

These bite-sized pumpkin treats are a cross between a cookie and a muffin. Make them plain or sprinkle some dried cranberries or raisins and even a few chocolate chips for a delightful sweet treat.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
Preparation:Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, using a whisk, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and egg white, pumpkin and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.

Optional: Fold in 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup raisins

Drop spoonfuls of dough an inch or so apart on a parchment- or silicone lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack.

Makes 30 cookies.
Per cookie (without chocolate chips or raisins): Calories 78, Calories from Fat 16, Total Fat 1.8g (sat 1.1g), Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 64mg, Carbohydrate 14.3g, Fiber 0.4g, Protein 1.3g
Per cookie (with chocolate chips and raisins): Calories 107, Calories from Fat 25, Total Fat 2.8g (sat 2.2g) Cholesterol 12mg, Sodium 64mg, Carbohydrate 18.9g, Fiber 0.8g, Protein 1.5g

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