Pumpkin and the Fall season are the perfect pairing. While some of us may prefer to get our pumpkin fix from indulgent lattes, real pumpkin as a vegetable packs many nutritional benefits.
- It’s high in vitamin A – helps to protect skin and promote night vision
- It’s packed with vitamin C – important to keep our immune systems strong
- Has more potassium per 1 C serving than a banana – can help to keep blood pressure in check
- Provides a good source of magnesium – important for muscles during exercise
- Fills you up fast with fiber – contains 7 g of fiber per cup (adults need between 25-35 g of fiber per day)
Often times pumpkin is incorporated into higher calorie items during the holidays, such as pumpkin pie, donuts, cakes, etc. While these items are fine in moderation, you can feel free to enjoy these recipes all year long!
Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup (adapted from The Hungry Girl website)
Nutrition per 1 C serving, makes 10 servings: 145 calories, 2g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 431mg sodium, 17g carbs, 4g fiber, 4g sugars, 14g protein.
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce
- One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
- One 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- One 4-oz. can diced green chiles (not drained)
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breast
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a slow cooker and mix until uniform.
Add chicken, cover and cook on high for 4 – 5 hours or on low for 8 – 9 hours, until chicken is fully cooked.
Transfer chicken to a large bowl and shred with two forks.
Return chicken to the slow cooker, and mix well.
Pumpkin Spice Cake Cookies (adapted from The Hungry Girl website)
Nutrition per 1 cookie, makes 16 cookies: 54 calories, 0.5g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 85mg sodium, 11g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 1g protein
- 1 1/4 cups spice cake mix
- 1/3 cup (about 3 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
- 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1/4 cup raisins, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, egg, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until mostly smooth and uniform. (Batter will be thick.) Fold in half of the chopped raisins.
Evenly distribute mixture into 16 mounds on the baking sheet, about 1 tbsp. each. Use the back of a spoon to spread and flatten into 1 1/2-inch circles.
Sprinkle with remaining raisins, lightly pressing to adhere. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out mostly clean, about 8 minutes.
Looking for more ideas and for support with healthy eating? Contact the dietitians at Waverley Oaks to schedule an appointment today! We accept all major health insurance plans. Nutrition@waverleyoaks.com