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Festival Foods

Pumpkin Blowout


As most of you know, Pumpkin Blowout has come and gone. I had a lot of fun running the games and spending time with all the families! I’ve been out and about as of late, and I find myself talking pumpkins with everyone. Plain pumpkin, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, how to use a pumpkin, canned pumpkin, the list goes on. The remark I hear most often is that people can’t stand to eat pumpkin by itself but don’t mind it when it’s mixed in a dish.
Pumpkin packs a lot of great nutrition. It’s low in calories and fat, and it doesn’t contain any cholesterol. Best of all, it still manages to serve as an excellent source of vitamin A, fiber, and calcium. Because it’s such a nutritious food, I wanted to share with you a few ways to add this seasonal favorite to foods you already eat. Even a family member who “can’t stand plain pumpkin” might actually like one of these ideas! So here they are:

  • Spice up your favorite tomato sauce. Mix 1 part pumpkin to 3 parts tomato sauce.
  • Do the mashed potatoes! Do the mashed potatoes…and add a twist! (So these are not the exact words, but were you singing along?). A good mix is about 1 part pumpkin to 2 parts mashed potatoes. This is usually the crowd pleaser of the bunch.
  • Try it with some applesauce. This is the ultimate “seasonal mix” since there is no better time to get fresh apples locally. For each ½ cup applesauce, add about 2-3 tbsp. of pumpkin.
  • For a morning mix-up, try adding some pumpkin to your favorite peanut butter (1:1 ratio). Then, spread this delicious and nutritious mix atop your morning toast. Yum!
  • Finally, mix up your usual parfait. Add ⅛ cup pumpkin to ½ cup of low-fat or fat-free plain or vanilla yogurt. Then add a dash of pumpkin pie spice if you wish and sprinkle on some granola bites for a delicious, seasonal parfait.

Think this is still too much pumpkin to handle?  Decrease the amounts to make the taste a bit more subtle. And don’t feel like you have to cook down a real pumpkin. Canned pumpkin (100% pumpkin, that is) works just as well. Stay warm and healthy wishes!

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