If you don’t think pumpkin is a powerful nutrient – read on! Pumpkin’s benefits include:
• It’s high in fiber (helping you to feel fuller longer)
• It promotes healthy digestion
• It is a good source of vitamin A, which supports healthy vision, bone growth and immune system health
• Its vitamin A is a natural source of carotenoids, which help our skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively. (Very important during the upcoming flu season.)
• Its seeds contain the amino acid “tryptophan,” which helps the body produce serotonin, which boosts your mood and supports a good night’s sleep!
• The seeds are also high in beta-carotene, which can reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals, lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer.
• The best way to eat pumpkin is roasted or pureed into a soup. Or try my recipe below for an unusual and delicious pumpkin hummus!
Pummus (Pumpkin Hummus!)
* 2 TBSP tahini (sesame seed paste)
* Juice of one-half lemon
* 1 TBSP olive oil
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* ½ tsp sea salt
* ¼ tsp red pepper or chipotle powder
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin PIE puree)
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
* 1 – 2 TBSP toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Put first 8 ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl, sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds (optional). Refrigerate or serve at room temperature. For dipping, pair with carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, cucumber slices, or any of your favorite fresh vegetables.