Abigail Joy Dougherty: Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Expert & Lover of Life
Blog, Halloween, Healthy Eating, Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving

For the Love of Pumpkins :)

Alas, pumpkin season is here again!! I feel like all I’ve been seeing is pumpkins – I love it! But did you know pumpkins are full of nutrition?!  They are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as high in antioxidants.  While this is the time of year that our pumpkin intake increases it might be of great interest to know the many reasons pumpkin is such a nutrition powerhouse!!

1)  Pumpkin is often overlooked as a great source of fiber! A 1 cup serving provides 6 grams of fiber which is ¼ of your recommended daily intake. Awesome!

2) Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A which is a powerful natural antioxidant that helps maintain the integrity of skin and mucus membranes as well as aids in vision.

3)  Pumpkin is a good source of B-complex vitamins such folate, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. Click here for great information about B-complex vitamins, including their help in caner prevention and good dietary sources.

4)  Pumpkin after a workout?! Yes!! Ever heard of bananas being touted as nature’s energy bar? Turns out, a cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564 milligrams to a banana’s 422 milligrams.  What does that mean in English?? Extra potassium can help restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a workout and keep those muscles functioning at their best. Try mixing it in with some Greek yogurt or adding it into your post workout shake.

5) Pumpkins are super versatile: sweet, savory, you name it! Pumpkins can be added to a whole host of dishes to provide extra seasonal flavor and very few calories (49/cup to be exact) to liven up the dish!

I also wanted to share with you some of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes! Enjoy!!

1) Pumpkin Ginger Butter: Thank you Pure Fresh Daily for your delicious recipes 🙂

2) Spiced Pumpkin Carrot Muffins: These muffins are so delicious and easy to prepare!

3) Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili by Skinny Taste: I had this for girls night a few weeks ago and it was delish!! 🙂 This chili is loaded with protein, fiber and is super easy to put together! Thanks for introducing me to this great recipe Katie!!

4)  Pumpkin Pancakes: recipe from Love To Cook.  Perfect for brunch on a lovely fall morning!

5) Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes: via Steamy Kitchen – These would be a perfect addition to any weeknight meal or fancy feast — Jaden even provides an easy how-to video for easy preparation! 🙂

6)  Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: Add 1/2 banana, 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt , 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or nonfat milk and a drop of pure vanilla extract),  a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice, 4-5 ice cubes (optional: handful of greeeeeens 🙂 and blend!  Great for a post workout snack or breakfast

7)  Sweet Pumpkin Hummus via Knead To Cook:  A totally fun and different twist on a traditional favorite.  I also featured it here on my Healthy Tailgating Post

Hope you enjoy all this pumpkin deliciousness!!

~Abigail

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