Pumpkins: Healthy Recipes

Pumpkins are quite useful for our health. They are packed with vitamin A for immune function, vitamin K that's essential for blood clotting and fiber to slow digestion. You can take a can of pumpkin puree or canned kind that has a more concentrated source of nutrients and include into various recipes and meals. Try these easy recipe suggestions so you can have a real pumpkin snack in just minutes. Here are some uses:

As a dip: Combine a cup of store-bought hummus and a half-cup pumpkin puree. Use it to spread on crackers or pretzels or to dunk vegetables like carrots and red peppers.

As a soup: Sub pumpkin puree for sweet potato or carrot puree in your favorite fall soups. Add some spice by adding cayenne or chipotle pepper or boost flavor with peanut butter.

On pancakes:
Mix together equal parts softened butter and pumpkin puree. Drizzle in maple syrup to taste. Use it on top of your short stack of pancakes or waffles.

In a smoothie: Blend together until smooth 8 oz oat milk, a banana, at least ¼-cup pumpkin puree and 1 to 2 tbsp peanut butter.

In granola: Whip up an easy batch of homemade granola add two tablespoons of pumpkin puree to the mix before baking.

In coffee: Pour equal parts hot coffee and hot almond milk in a blender; add about a tablespoon of pumpkin puree and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Blend until smooth. (Hot liquids can explode in the blender, says Stein, so put the lid on loosely, remove any stoppers, and cover the top with a folded kitchen towel.)

In hot cocoa: Pour a cup hot milk of choice into a blender with the hot chocolate packet—or make your own with 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tbsp sugar—and add a tablespoon of pumpkin puree. Blend until smooth.

Roasted seeds:
If you carve a pumpkin, save the seeds. They’re high in magnesium, a mineral responsible for over 300 important chemical reactions in your body. Toss with olive oil, salt, and spices of choice—like cumin or chili powder. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 300-degree oven until golden, stirring every 4 to 8 minutes.

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