I love the holidays. Mostly because of the festivities that lead up to the hoidays...but nonetheless it is such a joyous time of year (aside from the looming change in weather if you live in New England). It is around this time of year...every year...that I remember how much I love pumpkin. Pumpkin everything...from coffee and breads to pasta and cake--it's delicious and so good for you (well, the pumpkin is...not sure I can say the same for pumpkin pie!).
Canned pumpkin is so easy, accessible and like I said...good for you! One half cup has just 43 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber. It is high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which promote good vision and immunity respectively. It is a great addition to oatmeal -- one of my many oatmeal concoctions -- and lasts for days in the refrigerator (so you don't have to use the whole can at once).
A really delicious pumpkin treat is an old 2-ingredient Weight Watchers recipe. Just take a box of cake mix (I find chocolate or spice cake work best) and mix with 1 can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling--use real pumpkin). Bake according to the directions on the cake box--but don't use any other ingredients--just pumpkin and plain cake mix. The mixture will be thick. It makes a delicious low calorie cake or muffins--180 calories, 12 servings--whichever your prefer.
My absolute favorite pumpkin dish is a recipe my sister discovered while watching the Food Network. The official name is Penne-Wise Pupmkin Pasta but we refer to it as pumpkin pasta (original, huh?). The recipe is fairly healthy as is but with a few substitutions it can be even better. I always use low-sodium chicken stock and instead of cream, use nonfat milk. If you are really feeling healthy--serve the sauce over Fiber Gourmet pasta and I guarantee you will be incredibly full and satisfied when you finish. It is truly so yummy--my husband actually requests it--and it is so easy to make. I always feel really accomplished when I make it because I made my own pasta sauce and in no time.
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