Pumpkins: Don't Throw Them Out Yet! - Healthy Habits Living

Pumpkins: Don't Throw Them Out Yet!

December 07, 2017

Do you still have pumpkins hanging around? Pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING has infiltrated our winter food selections. The humble pumpkin is more than just a decoration, it is a versatile food teeming with nutrients. Let me list off some of the pumpkin's nutritional benefits:

  1. One serving of pumpkin contains over 200% of the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin A. This is especially helpful during the winter when Vitamin A helps prevent colds and the flu.
  2. With only 12 grams of carbohydrates per 1 cup serving, pumpkins are a great "low-carb" option for Paleo, Keto, and Diabetic Dieters.
  3. Did you know this? Pumpkin is one the best sources of beta-carotene. This antioxidant reduces the risk of cancer and can even help delay aging!

So don't throw out those un-carved pumpkins just yet. Here are a few ways to cook and utilize that luscious pumpkin flesh. 

Crock Pot method:

Cut the pumpkin into 4x4 inch pieces and layer into the crockpot. Add 1/2 cup of water.  Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. I don't usually scrape out the seeds until the pumpkin is cooked.  

Insta-Pot method:

Cut the pumpkin into 4x4 inch pieces and layer into the Insta-Pot. Add 1/2 cup of water. Use the "manual" setting to cook for 15 minutes. Scrape seeds and mash or puree by using a blender.  

(Your cooked pumpkin puree can be stored in the freezer for later use.)

Oven method:

If you are afraid of using a big knife, skip the cutting and put the whole pumpkin in the oven on a cookie tray. Cook on 350 until the pumpkin is soft enough to insert a fork. A small pumpkin will take 1 hour, while a larger one may take up to 4 hours.

Soup Recipe:

Are you looking for a super yummy pumpkin soup recipe? Look no further. Here's one of my favorite quick and easy Pumpkin Soup recipes:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or 1/3 teaspoon dry ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 cups of pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or bone broth
  • 1 (14­-ounce) can organic coconut milk
  1. In a large pot, saute onions in the coconut oil. Then add garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in the pumpkin purée, broth and coconut milk. Turn burner to high until soup boils.  
  3. Turn burner to low and simmer with cover for about 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. You can also use your blender or Vitamix.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. 

Doggy Treats:

Want a healthy snack for your beloved dog? Try these pumpkin dog treats:

1 1/2 cups of coconut flour

1/2 cup of almond or sunflower butter 

3 eggs 

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted 

1 cup pumpkin puree 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Roll dough until about 1/2" thick
  • Use cookie cutters or a knife to create 2x2 shapes
  • Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet 
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes
  • Let cool and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

Here is a free download for additional healthy pet treats. 

Conclusion

If all else fails, throw your pumpkins into your compost pile. I can almost guarantee that you will have volunteer pumpkin vines growing by next year!





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