Pumpkin recipes for better health

Andrea Abbott

Andrea Abbott, Staff Writer

With the leaves changing colors and the temperature becoming cooler, fall brings many seasonal treats for everyone to enjoy. One of the most comforting sensations during the wintertime comes from the simple ingredient: pumpkin. Ranging from breakfast, all the way to dessert, pumpkin can work as a healthy component in any dish.


Thanks to Dr. James Rouse and Dr. Debra Rouse, the authors of The Colorado Fit Kitchen, recipes containing pumpkin can be made with little to no effort.


Perhaps, nothing says more comfort than waking up to the nice sweet aroma of pancakes. Although, buttermilk pancakes holds its place as the most popular flavor, it may just drop down to number two once pumpkin gets added to the batter. Not only do pumpkin pancakes taste decadent, but they also provide way more nutrition with out feeling too much like “bland” health food.


The recipe for the Rouses’ “Fall in Love Pancakes” gives the cook the option of creating a gluten-free meal or substituting whole wheat, for all-purpose flour.


Fall in Love Pancakes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice flour

½ cup coconut flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups lowfat 1% milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons melted butter

½ cup pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoon maple syrup

Whisk flours, sugar, baking powder, spice, and salt in a large bowl until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract.

Stir or blend dry ingredients into wet. Batter should be a little bit thick. If too thick then stir in more milk, one tablespoon at a time.

Brush a large nonstick skillet with oil or spray with cooking oil spray. Heat to medium high. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto skillet to form pancake rounds, one at a tine. Cook about 2 minutes each side- flipping when bubbles appear on the surface or bottoms of pancakes are brown.

Serve warm with real maple syrup.

If breakfast does not fit the occasion, pumpkin also makes for a fantastic soup. Www.Popyfoods.com informs the reader how “pumpkin soup is rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and calcium.”
Delicious Pumpkin Soup

Servers 1

Pumpkin

2 carrots

2 potatoes

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped green chili

2 liters vegetable stock

1 cup orange juice

2 teaspoon olive oil

Chop the pumpkin into small pieces and place in a small bowl.

Cut carrots and potatoes into small pieces and place in another bowl.

Place a frying pan on stove with olive oil in it.

Fry chopped pumpkin pieces, potato and carrot pieces in pan by stirring well until they get pre-fried.

Add chopped chili and vegetable stock to the above mixture and stir for about 20 minutes and off the stove.

Add orange juice to it.

Soup is ready to serve.

In the world of desserts, pumpkin pie typically gets all of the attention during the holidays, so what better way to sneak in some nutritious ingredients than in a feel good, beneficial pie.

The Rouses’ share yet another, insightful and well informed recipe for a sweet pumpkin treat.

Ginger Crust Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8

Crust:

1 ½ cups ginger snaps, crushed

¾ cups brown rice flour

1 tbsp brown sugar

5 tbsp butter

Filling:

1 can pumpkin (16 ounce)

2 eggs

¼ cup maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 ½ cups milk of choice milk (soy, lowfat cow’s, goat’s) plus 1 tsp vanilla extract (alternatively you can use sweetened version of this pie).

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with S blade, combine ingredients for crust. Pulse until well combined and then press into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking oil spray. Chill about thirty minutes.

After the crust has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 F.

In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin and eggs together. Gradually add maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir in milk (and vanilla if using regular milk).

Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie shell. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and return the pie to the oven. Bake for an additional 10 or 15 minutes or until the center appears set when lightly touched. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill to store.

Hopefully these recipes will inspire more people to take part in a healthy lifestyle. All of the meals listed above prove that no one needs to sacrifice taste or flavor in order to create a delicious entrée.