Protect your sight with a smoothie. Wake up those tired eyes with a smoothie that promotes eye health. Blend a quarter of a cup of 100% pure pumpkin with fruit such as bananas or pineapple, milk, and a dash of cinnamon for a frozen fall drink. The vibrant orange color of pumpkin comes from the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body — vitamin A just so happens to be the A+ vitamin for eye health.
A bowl of chili to boost immunity. There’s nothing better than warming up with a bowl of chili on a crisp fall day. Adding a can of pumpkin to the pot adds fiber, and your family won’t even notice the difference. Vitamins C and A, both found in pumpkin, help defend us against sick days as we enter cold and flu season.
Eat mac and cheese and look young while you do it. What’s better than vegetables? Invisible ones that your kids (or spouse) try to avoid. Serve up a dish that’s devoured by all, then jazz it up with a can of pumpkin. Not only will the orange puree mix in well with the cheese, the beta-carotene acts as a natural sunblock. Hey there, gourd-geous!
Snack well and weigh less. It’s not about eating less, it’s about eating well for weight-loss strategies. Put energy bites with pumpkin on your snack list this week to keep hunger at bay the flavorful fall way. Add a quarter of a cup of pumpkin puree to your favorite energy bite recipe and enjoy the flavor of the season in a no-bake bite. With an ample amount of fiber, you’ll notice snack attacks are few and far between.
Good to the last seed to protect against deficiencies. You can roast the seeds from the pumpkins you carve, or you can reap the nutritional benefits of the pumpkin seeds found at the grocery store. Most adults are deficient in magnesium. Fatigue, muscle spasms and migraines are all associated with magnesium deficiency. For a magnesium boost, sprinkle pumpkin seeds on salads, toss them in energy bites, or enjoy them in a trail mix.
1 (15-ounce) can 100% pumpkin puree
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Fresh blueberries and pumpkin seeds for garnish
Add pumpkin, milk, yogurt, agave nectar, pumpkin pie spice and ice to a blender. Blend until smooth. Top with pumpkin seeds and fresh blueberries, if desired.
Nutrition information (per serving): 60 calories, 1g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 25mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 8g sugar, 3g protein.
Recipe source: www.hy-vee.com
Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.