Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Ten Ways to Enjoy Pumpkins this Fall

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Tara Gidus and her son at a pumpkin patchToday's post was inspired by a recent trip to the pumpkin patch with my five-year-old-son. Pumpkins seem to be the shining crop of fall -- they are fun to pick, great for carving, and the best of all, they are absolutely delicious in almost anything. Pumpkins are sweet yet savory and add great color to any dish. Like most orange colored fruits and vegetables, pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, which are potent antioxidants that have been shown to protect against cancer, macular degeneration, and heart disease.

Pumpkin is one of the richest sources of vitamin A which is essential for vision, immunity, and to fight the signs of aging. Pumpkin flesh also contains fiber and the minerals potassium, iron and zinc. That’s a lot of nutritional value for only 40 calories in a ½ cup. Try these ideas to get fall started!

  1. Salad topping: Roast and season the seeds to spice up your salad.
  2. Soups: Add some warming spices and you’re in for creamy deliciousness!
  3. Bread: Nothing is better than a warm slice of pumpkin bread as a special treat.
  4. Pancakes: Indulge your senses this season with healthy pumpkin pancakes.
  5. Pasta: Hearty lasagna blended with the smell and tastes of fall is nothing short of satisfying.
  6. Cookies: Use this great fall vegetable to create an unforgettable afterschool snack.
  7. Mousse/puddings: Sometimes, all you need is a creamy and easy dessert to tame your sweet tooth. Pumpkin is a great addition to any pudding or mousse.
  8. Trail mix: For some much needed energy, try mixing roasted pumpkin seeds and your favorite dried fruit, for that tasty and crunchy boost in the afternoon!
  9. Dips: For your next football party, try this creamy delicious hummus paired with pumpkin for a little something different.
  10. Shakes: Add pumpkin and some cinnamon to create a morning breakfast shake you will want to wake up for.

Pumpkins are a delicious, versatile, nutritious fall favorite. Make the most of pumpkins this fall!

 

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Tags: Cooking Healthy , Recipes

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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