Oh, my Gourd! Nutritionally speaking, cooked pumpkin is more nutrient dense than the ubiquitous pumpkin-spice latte, as it's packed with vitamins and minerals! The bright orange color of the pumpkin defines a particularly beneficial phytonutrient: carotene. Carotene converts to vitamin A in the body for a tremendous punch of antioxidants to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and slow down signs of aging. Pumpkin also provides fiber that keeps you feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer and helps stabilize your blood sugar.
Generally, the seeds you dig out of your jack-o-lanterns are just plain old pumpkin seeds with shells. But, if you felt adventurous and tried to shuck them, you’d find a tiny seed, or pepitas, inside. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc, iron, fiber, and ALA, the plant form of essential fatty acids EFA. You can purchase sprouted or raw pepitas and roast ’em yourself.
For ease, enjoy pumpkin soup and protein smoothies with organic canned (BPA-free) pumpkins.
Here is a pumpkin smoothie recipe that no one will say "Boo," too!
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (for a spicier, more robust ginger flavor, use more)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk of choice) plus more, as needed for thinning
3-5 Ice cubes
Optional: 1 teaspoon molasses or maple syrup (or more, to taste)
If you want some extra fat for staying power in your smoothie, add a tablespoon or two of almond butter.
Prefer a green smoothie? You can add a big handful of fresh baby spinach to this smoothie without affecting the flavor. It will just look green, rather than orange, in color.