Fall not only brings chilly weather but the return of the pumpkin as well. Yes, we know that it’s not the most popular fruit but guess what? It really ought to be appreciated more, considering its high nutrition value and versatility.
Per cup, pumpkins provide almost three grams of filling fiber and are a lower-calorie food at fifty calories per cup. Also, its orange pigment is due to the antioxidant called beta carotene, which is shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases.
There are simple, yet delicious ways to incorporate pumpkin into some common foods. So why not give it a chance? Compiled from www.fitday.com, here is a list of six hassle-free ways to include pumpkins in your daily meal.
1) Pumpkin oatmeal
Pumpkin oatmeal is an easy and healthy recipe that can really spice up your regular oats. To prepare, mix a quarter cup of pumpkin with a half cup of cooked oats. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and a drizzle of maple syrup. Finish off this recipe with chopped pecans. This breakfast provides both fiber and protein that will keep you feeling full until your next meal.
2) Pumpkin yogurt parfait
Yogurt takes on a whole new flavour by adding in the rustic taste of pumpkin. To assemble the pumpkin yogurt parfait, layer the fruit, plain Greek yogurt, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey into a bowl. Top with a high fiber cereal, banana slices and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. This easy recipe can be made ahead of time for busy mornings too.
3) Pumpkin smoothie
Smoothies are everyone’s favourite, not only for the many flavour combinations you can create but also for its portability. Bring this treat into fall by incorporating pumpkins. Combine ice, pumpkin, vanilla yogurt, milk and a drizzle of honey in a blender and mix until smooth. For a post workout drink, you can even substitute the yogurt for vanilla protein powder.
4) Homemade pumpkin coffee
Pumpkin spice lattes are all the buzz come fall. Unfortunately, this beverage isn’t easily available to us so why not make a lower-calorie version at home? Simply combine two tablespoons of canned pumpkin to one cup coffee. Mix ingredients well and spruce it up with milk, cinnamon and sugar, based on your preference. This guilt-free version can be enjoyed hot or over ice.
5) Pumpkin granola
Granola is a tasty treat but can sometimes be loaded with calories. Prepare your own, leaner version of pumpkin granola to use on top of yogurt or your morning cereal. Combine pureed pumpkin with honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, oats, pecans and golden raisins and sprinkle the mixture with cinnamon. Lay granola out on a baking sheet and bake in a 160 degree oven for about eight to ten minutes, stirring once.
6) Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds pack a powerful nutrition punch. To roast, toss two cups of pumpkin seeds in one tablespoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of salt and pepper and bake at 150 degrees oven for about forty minutes. Toss seeds halfway during baking. Although they make the perfect snack on their own, you can also enjoy them tossed into a roasted vegetable salad.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2016.
Like Life & Style on Facebook, follow @ETLifeandStyle on Twitter for the latest in fashion, gossip and entertainment.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ