Pumpkin is a great and healthy food source that is in season. Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant. The seeds contain phytosterols, which are helpful in maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol. Carotenoids are another major component in pumpkin, these are known to help fight cancer, and keep free-radicals at bay. Cooked pumpkin flesh is also high in potassium. Potassium is essential for many of daily functions your body performs. It is also important to keep up your Vitamin C intake through this weather change, and pumpkin can help you in that area as well! Overall, pumpkin has many health benefits and is a great food to consume this season. If you have a hard time getting your hands on some pumpkin, then use a similar squash such as butternut or even delicate. Each squash will have a slightly different flavor profile, but the results will be just as yummy!
Making your own pumpkin puree to use in different recipes is easy. All it takes is some time and careful cutting. Smaller pumpkins such as pie pumpkins will make a much sweeter and smoother puree. If you are not comfortable with cutting into the hard flesh, just pop it into the oven at 350 degrees F until it is soft enough to handle. Cut into smaller pieces and then continue cooking until soft throughout. The skins should slide off easily once cool enough to handle. Put the flesh into a blender or food processor and mix until a smooth consistency.
Here at The Hart Center we love hearty dishes, especially since winter is coming quickly! So far, we have been enjoying pumpkin smoothies, butternut squash pasta, and even indulged in a some pumpkin lasagna. For our furry friends, we made some digestion friendly pumpkin biscuits!
1-2 scoops Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder
1/2 cup Pumpkin puree
1 frozen banana
1 quarter size of fresh ginger or 1 tsp dried ginger
1 dash of cayenne
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 oz of yogurt (depending on how creamy you like your smoothies!)
Throw everything into the blender, then add in some water. If you prefer a thinner consistency cover the ingredients, if you prefer a thicker consistency fill water until about halfway up the ingredients. Blend away, and enjoy! This smoothie boasts numerous health benefits including being anti-inflammatory. Don’t let a smoothie scare you away in winter. The ginger and cayenne will be sure to kickstart your metabolism and keep you warm throughout the day!
Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
2 tbsp Almond Butter
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Fish Oil
Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Add in small amounts of rice flour while mixing. Once you achieve a doughy consistency that is mostly dry to the touch and easily forms balls you have enough rice flour. Depending on your preferences either roll the dough out or just make small thumbprint cookies. To preserve the enzymes and healthy fats, we dehydrated ours at 155 until dry. If you do not have a dehydrator just pop these into the oven at the lowest temp until they are dry but do not crumble. Once they cool off these biscuits are sure to coax some new tricks out of your furry friend!Share