It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and you know what that means, right? Turkey and pumpkin pie!
I’m a fan of pumpkin – big time! Both the flesh and the seeds are nutrient rich and can provide a boost of fibre, powerful antioxidants like carotenoids, potassium and Vitamins A, C and E.
In just ½ cup of pumpkin puree, there’s 5 grams of fibre. That can go along way to helping you get to your 25-35g daily requirement.
But aside from pumpkin pie – where you will be getting the added calories of the crust, the evaporated milk, and all that sugar without any added nutritional benefits – where do you use pumpkin and in what form?
From field to table
First of all, pumpkins can be as prepared and cooked as easily as any other veg from the curcubita family – like butternut, hubbard, delicata or acorn squash. Look for those cutie-patootie little pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins at your local farmers’ markets or grocery stores (not the massive guys you carve into your scary jack o’lantern) and prepare them by cutting them in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds, drizzling them with a little extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and baking them cut-side down on a baking sheet for 25-40 minutes, or until the flesh is soft. Peel off the skin and you’re good to go to mash and use the pumpkin in any favourite recipe.
Canned puree pumpkin is another way to go and perfectly acceptable. Look for cans that are BPA free (most organic brands generally are). Also: be careful not to grab the pumpkin pie puree by mistake – it will already have spices, sugar and other preservatives in it (Can I just say blech?)
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
If you crave the traditional taste of pumpkin pie but want to avoid added calories, try this smoothie. It is dreamy! And packed with nutrition – protein, fibre, potassium, and Vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains blackstrap molasses, a sticky energizing mineral-dense sweetener that gives a rich malty flavour to this smoothie and other dishes like baked beans or gingerbread.
This smoothie makes a filling breakfast, post-workout replenishment or a sweet and creamy, yet healthful snack to ward off any cravings. The added hemp seeds bring in some valuable Omega 3 fatty acids, known for anti-inflammatory properties.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- 2 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk of choice
- 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or to taste)
- 2 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice or you can substitute 2 tsp cinnamon+ ½ tsp ground ginger + ¼ tsp ground nutmeg + a pinch of ground clove
- 4-5 ice cubes
- Put all ingredients (except ice cubes) in your blender and blend until combined.
- Add ice cubes and blend until smooth.
You can refrigerate this for a day or two and enjoy it in 2 servings.
How else can you use pumpkin?
So once you open up a can of pumpkin puree or bake up a couple of sugar pumpkins, how else can you use up this orange magic? Last fall I suggested you try Pumpkin Pasta sauce. If you haven’t yet made this recipe, it is comfort food at its finest! With the cooler days on the horizon – this is a must-try!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!