Fall = Pumpkins

By |2018-08-09T15:03:54+00:00October 30th, 2014|

Fall! I really enjoy this time of year! Temperatures are cool, but not cold. Trees become exceptionally beautiful with all the different colored leaves painting quite a beautiful landscape to view as you drive down the road!

pumpkinIt also means a trip to the pumpkin patch, local grocery store, or city market to choose that perfect pumpkin! Pumpkins are a vegetable grown from seeds planted in late May to early July (depending on where they’re grown) to be ready for Halloween selection. The large Jack-O-Lantern version has become a symbol for Halloween. When you’re searching for pumpkins to purchase, select ones that are free of cracks and soft spots. Look for that deep orange color and a stem of at least one inch to help prevent pumpkin decay. Moisture increases the risk of a pumpkin to deteriorate, so do not refrigerate pumpkins or keep them in a damp place. Whole pumpkins can be stored for 3 to 6 months at 45 to 50 degree temperatures.

Pumpkins are a wonderful source of beta carotene – an antioxidant. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, vision, and bone development, amongst other functions. Pumpkins are also a good source of potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Mashed pumpkin is low in calories, with only 49 calories per cup.

Pumpkin has a mild flavor that has found its way into many recipes, such as soups, pureed as a side dish, pumpkin bread, custards, muffins and cookies and even the famous coffees.

A fun recipe for kids, young and old, is Hot Pumpkin Cocoa!

(Serves 5)

4 cups milk

4 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 tablespoons pumpkin puree

4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a pot on the stove. Whisk gently till warm, and all ingredients are smoothly blended. Serve, and watch the smiles appear!

Source: superhealthykids.com

About the Author:

Emily Boatman
Emily has been working as an outpatient and bariatric dietitian at NKCH since April of 2018. She graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics. Emily is passionate about helping patients achieve their goals to improve their quality of life. In her free time, she enjoys staying active and spending time with family, friends, and her dog and cat (Nelson and Oscar).

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