In Praise of Pumpkins

Maureen Robb's picture
By Maureen Robb on November 10, 2015

Pumpkins aren’t just for pie.

This versatile squash can be the basis for delicious main dishes, breads and other desserts. Think pumpkin soup, ravioli, pancakes, waffles, gingerbread, muffins, cheesecake and scones—even smoothies and chili.

Pumpkin seeds? They’re a nutritious snack or addition to cookies and other baked goods. And roasted pumpkin croutons can add flavor and nutrition to soups and salads, while pumpkin puree can replace butter or oil in some baked goods recipes.

Like other plant foods, pumpkin is a heart-healthy addition to your diet that can help you regulate your weight and prevent or control diabetes. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals: A serving provides more than 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, as well as 10 percent or more of potassium, riboflavin, vitamin E, and manganese and copper.

A cup of fresh, cooked pumpkin has only 49 calories and under a gram of fat, and it’s easy to prepare.

We recently featured pumpkin in our Superfoods column in the new issue of Carilion Clinic Living magazine, where we discuss more of its health benefits.

For a variety of savory and sweet pumpkin recipes, check out All Recipes and Country Living.  And don’t forget about pumpkin after Thanksgiving. You can enjoy it in many ways all year long.