Nothing says Fall like a pumpkin patch dotted with pumpkins!
Bring this season's signature squash to your dinner table in more than just pie. Here are a few reasons why and one of my favorite ways to do it.
PUMPKIN IS RICH IN CAROTENOIDS
These compounds, including beta-carotene, are the building blocks of Vitamin A, which you need for healthy vision and supple skin.
PUMPKIN IS HIGH IN FIBER & LOW IN CALORIES
50 calories and 3 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked pumpkin means that you feel more full and satisfied and are less likely to overeat.
PUMPKIN PUTS YOU IN A BETTER MOOD!
How is that possible? Well, it tastes really good and because it's rich in tryptophan, a building block of the "feel-good" brain chemical serotonin that helps you relax, you're chill when awake and resting easy when you're asleep.
*Sorry, a Starbucks spiced pumpkin latté in NOT going to deliver any of these benefits, except maybe the mood thing, but it won't last... Here's a better idea:
BAKED PUMPKIN WITH SAVORY HERBS
This makes a wonderful centerpiece to any meal or a meal by itself!
You can see the process from the pictures below - just know that you can rinse and roast the seeds so don't toss them out!
Scoop them out of the pumpkin. Rinse all the slimy stuff off and dry them on paper towels. Toss with olive oil, a dash of ground cumin and salt & pepper. Then roast until slightly browned and fragrant in a 400 degree oven. It's worth the effort, they're so good and so good for you!
In this recipe I used some hot chilis, a large onion, a few garlic cloves, 1 tbsp dried rosemary and a quart of stewed tomatoes for the filling, just roughly chopped as shown and sautéed in olive oil until soft. Next time I'll add sausages - removed from the casing and cooked with the onion.
Bake the pumpkin for an hour at 350 degrees. Poke it with a fork to test for doneness - it should feel very soft.
Then just scoop out some filling and pumpkin flesh, sprinkle with grated parmesan or romano cheese, season with salt & pepper and get the pumpkin party started!
More pumpkin and pumpkin seed recipes are featured in the Fall recipes on the