Here are some interesting facts about pumpkins:
- Pumpkins are great for your eyesight and 1 cup has more than 200% of your RDA for vitamin A
- Pumpkin is one of the foods recommended for weight loss and to help reduce cholesterol due to it’s high fiber content.
- Pumpkin is also a great source of B vitamins, which help with cell growth and help to support a healthy metabolism.
- Pumpkins have a light diuretic effect. This helps with flushing out toxins and other waste from your body, giving you more energy, and leaving you feeling refreshed.
- Pumpkin flesh also has something called L-tryptophan, which helps trigger feelings of happiness and well-being.
Pumpkins are incredibly versatile…. they are good in everything from breakfast to dinner, savory to sweet!
The grocery stores are inundated with Pumpkin Spice everything by now and coffee shops have been pumping out Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSL) for weeks. While it may be more convenient to purchase that box of pumpkin spice pancake or muffin mix, pumpkin spice tortilla chips, creamer, donuts, ice cream,etc. (the list goes on and on), taking the extra time to make your own pumpkin treats will save your health and your waistline. Have you ever taken the time to look up the nutrition facts in a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte? Did you know that there are 49g of sugar in the “skinny” version? That is more added sugar than you should have in one day, let alone one drink!
My suggestion for a less sugary version of the PSL is to buy Pumpkin Spice flavored Coffee from Trader Joes and add a spoonful of grass fed creamer, coconut or almond milk (depending on your milk preference) and 1/2 tsp maple syrup. This will get you about a 1/10 the amount of sugar in the Starbucks version. I won’t promise that it will taste the same, cause it won’t. But you’ll get used to the new flavor and your body will love you for it! Can’t find pumpkin spice flavored coffee (do you live under a rock!?)? Brew a pot of coffee and add a few whole cloves, a cinnamon stick, and a piece of ginger. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Don’t be fooled by labels like “all natural” “gluten free” or “real pumpkin” as it does not mean that they are healthier choices. If you are tempted to purchase something pre-made, at least take a look at the ingredient list and make sure you know what everything is. When you start seeing weird words that sound like chemicals, they probably are.
Here are some items to keep on hand for when you just can’t resist the urge for seasonal Fall flavors:
– Canned Pumpkin
– Pure Maple Syrup
– Cinnamon sticks
– Full Fat Coconut Milk (Golden Star is a really clean one)
– Nuts of some sort (Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, etc)
There is a lot you can do with the above ingredients and they won’t break the bank either. If you’re looking for some delicious & healthy pumpkin recipes, I recommend you check out PaleOMG.com
‘s 30 Paleo Pumpkin Recipes and a few of my own pumpkin recipes over at OTBNutrition.net/recipes