Pumpkins will be in an endless supply this fall season. As such a low calorie vegetable (at 50 calories per mashed cup) and with no fat or cholesterol it is hard to turn it down.

Some additional health perks:

  • 1 mashed cup contains more than 200% of your daily Vitamin A (which aids in vision particularly in dim light and offers some protectionPumpkin Tid Bits for this Fall against cancer)
  • 3 grams of fiber per cup (which helps stabilize appetite and assist in weight loss)
  • To improve healing time after a great workout, there is more potassium in this vegetable than a banana
  • The seeds are packed with tryptophan, zinc and iron so don’t forget to much on them too

Looking for ways to get some extra ‘pumpkin’ into your diet?

  • On your next batch of muffins add 1 cup of pureed pumpkin and reduce the moisture ingredient (like milk) by about half.
  • When eating the seeds, consider eating the shell (with seed inside) too. There is a very thin layer of endosperm in the shell that is loaded with zinc.
  • Grind pumpkin seeds with garlic, parsley and cilantro; add to olive oil for a unique tasty salad dressing.
  • Prepare a pumpkin butter spread: mix pureed pumpkin with cinnamon, touch vanilla extract, a little apple juice and brown sugar, with a pumpkin spice for flavour.

Karla Heintz, BSc Nutrition Author of ‘Picky? Not me mom! A parent’s guide to children’s nutrition.’