A cup of cooked pumpkin has only 50 calories
Bellingham, WA (Vocus) October 28, 2010
Halloween is nearly here, which means pumpkins will soon be flying off store shelves. Most of those pumpkins will be scooped up, carved with scary faces, lit for one night, and tossed – a terrible waste of an incredibly nutritious squash.
According to nutrition expert Gloria Tsang, founder of HealthCastle.com, pumpkins are loaded with fiber and the antioxidant beta carotene, and oil from the seeds may help inhibit benign prostate growth. “A cup of cooked pumpkin has only 50 calories,” Gloria says. “So it packs a big nutrition punch without taking over your meal.”
Whether you buy an extra pumpkin to serve instead of scare, or just do a careful job of scooping out the flesh and seeds before carving the shell, here are five ways to make the most of your Halloween pumpkin:
- Sweet slices: Cut your pumpkin into ½-inch slices, bake, then serve tossed with honey and a dusting of cinnamon.
- Creative cubes: Cut the flesh into small cubes and add it to risotto, or make an Indonesian sweet pumpkin dessert stew by cooking in coconut milk, water, and sugar.
- Mash and mix: Add cooked mashed pumpkin to muffin batter or use it to make pumpkin pie. Or, add it to heavily flavored curries to tone down the spiciness.
- Roast-ready: Roast small chunks of pumpkin flesh, then dress with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper for a simple, tasty dish.
- Save the Seeds: Toss seeds with olive oil and your favorite spices and roast them in oven for a crunchy, tasty snack.
This Halloween, you’ll be buying a pumpkin anyway – why not use it to create a healthy meal? More healthy eating tips from registered dietitians are available at http://www.HealthCastle.com, an official USDA MyPyramid Partner.
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