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Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Health Benefits and Recipes



Pumpkin is incredibly rich in vital anti-oxidants and vitamins. This  vegetable is very low in calories yet good source of vitamin A.
The plant is a "vine",  creeper on the surface and needs alot of room to grow.
It is one of the vegetables which is very low calories;  provides just 26 cal per 100 g and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich a source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. Recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E. and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers. Thus, it helps protect from "age related macular disease" (ARMD) in the elderly.Rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6  thiamin and pantothenic acid. It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Pumpkin seeds  (click title for recipe instructions) are good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are good for heart health. 

Roasting  a Pumpkin

To bake a fresh sugar pumpkins are the best, cut in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place halves, hollow side down, in a large baking  covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375
To freeze pumpkin puree. Freeze in zip lock bags with your spices in it and use for future pie recipes.

Pumpkin Smoothies

1/2 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 ice cubes
Place everything in a blender. Blend until smooth.