Fall. Quite easily my favourite season because I am a pumpkin lover! From pumpkin spice smoothies to curried pumpkin soups, I try to incorporate this nutrient dense member of the squash family into every recipe I can. And why not, with its host of health benefits? If you weren’t in the know about this salacious squash, then listed below are a few reasons to add it to your grocery list.
Eat Right for Your Sight
Pumpkins are one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, which is readily converted to Vitamin A in the body. It is also the powerful antioxidant responsible for the orange hue of carrots, sweet potatoes and squash. This potent antioxidant plays a vital role in maintaining healthy vision, slowing down the aging process and cancer prevention.
Get More Caloric Bang for your Buck
Not all calories are created equal. Adding nutrient dense pumpkin into your diet helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer owing to its high fiber content and leads to an overall decrease in daily caloric intake.
Pumpkins and turkey alike, are abundant sources of tryptophan; the amino acid responsible for that sleepy feeling that comes over you after a Thanksgiving meal. Correlations between increased dietary tryptophan intake and longer durations of undisturbed sleep have been found in studies.
If you weren’t convinced before, perhaps now you will be more inclined to experiment with this superfood in your kitchen. Try this quick and easy recipe inspired by THE DETOXINISTA to get yourself started!
1 ½ cup pumpkin purée (I made mine using the instructions below)
¾ cup coconut flour
½ cup maple syrup
2 tsp ground cinnamon powder
¾ tsp ground ginger powder
¼ tsp ground cloves
¾ tsp gluten free baking soda
2 large eggs
Homemade Pumpkin Purée
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Using a pie pumpkin, wash the outsides well and make slits all around the pumpkin using a sharp knife in order to allow for ventilation while the pumpkin is baking.
- Place the whole pumpkin on a baking dish and bake for 45 – 60 minutes. (The time may vary depending on the size of your pumpkin.)
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool. Once it has cooled, cut it in half, remove the seeds (you can save these for roasting later) and scoop out the contents of the pumpkin. Place these contents in your blender and blend until you have reached your desired consistency.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until no clumps remain.
- Transfer the batter into a 9×9 baking dish greased with coconut oil.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is firm.
- Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve! The remainder can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Dr. Meera Dossa is a licensed naturopathic doctor at Davisville Health. She is certified and licensed to perform parenteral therapy in the province of Ontario and has successfully met the requirements for the Standard of Practice in Therapeutic Prescribing. To book an appointment for naturopathic therapy, diagnostic testing, dietary assessment, or intravenous therapy, please contact Dr. Meera Dossa, ND at 647-705-1242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.