Pumpkins are great to use in decorating, but are just as great to use in dining. Here is why:
* Pumpkins are low in calories. One-half cup of mashed pumpkin (without salt) has 24 calories, 0 grams fat, 1 gram protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber and 1 milligram sodium.
* Pumpkins are packed with nutrients, such as fiber and beta-carotene. Our bodies use beta-carotene to produce vitamin A. Pumpkins are also rich in potassium.
* Pumpkins are versatile. You can steam, bake, boil or microwave them (if you cut slits in them) and also pressure cook them. Once cooked they can be mashed, pureed or cubed. Mashed or pureed pumpkin (either fresh or canned) can be used in muffins, biscuits and quick breads; in soups and macaroni and cheese sauce; added to chili, a smoothie, cheese balls or hummus, to name just a few. Cubed and cooked pumpkin can be used with pasta, risotto, soups, salads and casseroles.
* Pumpkins can be preserved. Once pumpkins are cooked, they can be stored in either the fridge or freezer in air-tight containers for later use.
Here are two terrific recipes that include pumpkin.
Source: Taste of Home
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups cubed, cooked turkey
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the next 10 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours. If desired, top with cubed avocado and thinly sliced green onions when serving. Yields 10 servings.
Pumpkin Soup (in a Pumpkin)
Source: verybestbaking.com - Libby’s Pumpkin
2 cups milk or half and half
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup grated cheese
3 cups seasoned croutons
Cut the lid from the pumpkin, and remove seeds and fibers. Alternate layers of croutons
and cheese in pumpkin. Add chicken broth and milk. Bake for about 2 hours at 350 degrees.
To serve, stir the contents into the pumpkin to create a thick, creamy soup.
By Teresa Hunsaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask an Expert: Six Tips for Holiday Spending
According to The National Retail Federation, American consumers spent $655.8 billion on the holidays (excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants) in 2016. Consumer spending is expected to increase by up to 4 percent this holiday season.Read More
Ask an Expert: Seven Ways to Improve Your Slumber
The amount of sleep we need changes with age. Teens need 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Lack of proper sleep affects their growth, academic performance, mood and behavior. Adults 18-64 years of age require 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep needs for older adults may slightly diminish with age.Read More
Ask an Expert: Five Tips for Food Safety at Holiday Buffets
The aromas of holiday foods often bring to mind the sweet memories of years past. Whether a large family gathering, office party or pot luck, the holidays are filled with traditional foods that bring people together. On the other hand, there may be in your memory a time where the result of such a gathering left you nauseous, vomiting or worse because of an episode of food-borne illness.Read More