Dietitian Tips: Pumpkin For Dinner

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A chill is in the air, leaves are slowly changing colors, and pumpkin is in season!

Pumpkin is a popular fall flavor that’s everywhere this time of year. You’ll find it in lattes, pastries, cookies, yogurts, and cereals. But have you ever tried pumpkin on its own?

It’s a versatile vegetable that offers an impressive nutrient profile. Due to a wealth of antioxidants from alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, pumpkins help protect cell health. Pumpkins are also rich in vitamin A, which is key for healthy eyes, proper cell growth, and a strong immune system. Pumpkins are nutrient dense and low in calories. Composed of 90% water, one cup of canned pumpkin contains only 83 calories and less than one gram of fat.

While pumpkin may be mostly known as the main ingredient in pumpkin pie, there are plenty of ways to turn a pumpkin into a main dish. Its light flavor makes it easy to include in sweet dishes like pancakes or muffins. However, it works just as well in savory dishes including roasted vegetables, stews, curries, pastas or soups.

If you enjoy roasting vegetables, try adding pumpkin into the mix next time with this recipe:

Roasted Pumpkin with Garlic, Sweet Potatoes, and Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Small Pumpkin (cut quartered with seeds and pulp removed)
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes (cut quartered lengthwise)
  • 2 red onions (cut into wedges)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 5 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 5 garlic gloves, halved
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Place pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and onions into a large bowl. Add olive oil and spices. Toss to mix well. Spread vegetables out on large roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes. Return pan to oven and roast for additional 15 minutes.

If you’re looking to incorporate recipes like this into your healthy lifestyle, give me a call at 319-297-8637 or stop by my office in the Woodlands.

Brooke Hershberger, Meth-Wick Staff Dietitian

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