This water-rich fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit!) is also an excellent source of soluble fiber. In fact, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin packs almost 4 grams fiber! Soluble fiber elicits many vital health benefits: it lowers LDL cholesterol (the “bad” type), helps prevent spikes in blood sugar, can assist with maintaining a healthy weight (since it helps increase satiety), and also aids with regularity in the bathroom.
1. Stir a couple tablespoons pumpkin into vanilla yogurt. This works better with regular yogurt than Greek yogurt since Greek yogurt is already thick, in my opinion. You can also sprinkle cinnamon on top for enhanced flavor.
2. Add some pumpkin to hearty stew or chili for a thicker consistency, or make pumpkin soup.
3. Use pumpkin as a partial fat substitute in baked goods instead of oil, mayo, or sour cream. In 2009, I won the "Healthy Holiday Recipe Makeover", sponsored by The Health Journal. You can check out the recipe below. Disclaimer: It is delicious! (Tip: to enlarge the documents below, click on the icon in the lower right-hand corner).
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4. Mix some pumpkin into your hot cereal. Check out the recipe I created below. It's easy to make and each serving provides 12 grams of fiber, so it keeps you feeling satisfied for a long time!
- 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Creamy Buckwheat Hot Cereal (can also use oatmeal, if preferred)
- 2 Tbsp Milled Flax Seed
- 1/4 cup Canned Pumpkin
- Apple of choice, cut - I don't recommend Red Delicious or Fuji (I used Pink Lady in the recipe)
- Cinnamon or Apple Pie Spice, to taste
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Organic Stevia Extract, Brown Sugar, and/or Maple Sugar, to taste (I used organic stevia extract and 1.5 tsp brown sugar)
- Sea Salt, to taste
- 12 fl oz Water
- Optional: Raisins and Chopped Walnuts, to taste (I didn't add this in the original recipe)
Combine above ingredients in a large bowl. Add water and stir. Microwave or cook on stovetop until well cooked (about 3-4 minutes). If microwaving, I recommend placing bowl on top of a plate in case you accidentally cook it too long and it overflows. Allow hot cereal to cool for a few minutes before eating. Yum!
About buckwheat: Don't let the name fool you - buckwheat is not a grain, it's actually a seed. It's also gluten-free, so it's a viable option for those with Celiac or gluten sensitivity. Buckwheat is a complete protein, which means it provides all of the essential amino acids the body cannot manufacture itself. I like the Bob's Red Mill brand because it has a pleasant texture. The fiber, volume, and complete protein combination of this recipe makes it very sustaining and it provides a whopping dose of antioxidants from the pumpkin and apple, plus ALA omega-3 fatty acids from the flax. And it's delicious!
As a “thank you” for reading my blog, I’m sponsoring a drawing for a free bag of Bob's Red Mill Creamy Buckwheat Hot Cereal! To qualify for the drawing:
- “Like” my business Facebook page, if you haven't already
- Share a comment below about your favorite pumpkin food