Makeover Pumpkin!

Angela Braden has researched and reported on wellness and lifestyle for a decade. She has been published hundreds of times in national and international magazines. Angela serves as a speaker for Alive! Expo (health convention) and as the Editor and Founder of www.angelicindulgence.com web magazine, where you’ll find more indulgent health tips and articles updated monthly.



Get pumpkin power with Angelic ingredients

Whether it’s a healthy trick or treat you’re after, that gorgeous gourd is bound to be in your future in the next month or two. Enjoy the wholesome pumpkin to its fullest this season without compromising it’s healthful integrity. How?

Makeover your Fall pumpkin recipes with all natural sweeteners, whole grains, and nutrient-dense (instead of nutrient vacant) ingredient. Who says indulgence has to be sinful? These recipes (and others on www.angelicindulgenc.com) are proof positive that health food can be absolutely indulgent!

The Tricks:
The mightily cheerful pumpkin itself is packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. But the seeds inside hold the best tricks in the treat:

  • Pumpkin seeds have high levels of phytosterols- believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

  • Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory effects similar to the drug indomethacin, useful in easing the symptoms of arthritis.

  • Components in pumpkin seed oil appear able to interrupt the triggering of prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT – therefore may be protective against prostate enlargement in men.

The Treats:
AI All-Out Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin butter – why use a butter substitute when nature does it best?

  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots – a good dose of vitamin A

  • 1 cup chopped, ripe bananas – supplies the consistency and richness of fat

  • 1 chopped onion – flavorful and antibacterial

  • 2 chopped shallots

  • 5 cups of organic chicken stock- make your own from organic chicken bones

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin – canned contains more bio-available vitamin A

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk – a healthy saturated fat [link to previous column on healthy sat fats]

  • 1/4cup of blackstrap molasses – natural sweetener and a good source of iron

  • 1/2 tsp. of each of the following ground herbs: nutmeg, cinnamon, tumeric, allspice

  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Melt pumpkin butter in a large pot. Add carrots, banana, onion and shallots - sauté until vegetables are softened –about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender and puree until smooth. Return mixture to pan and add chicken stock and all remaining ingredients. Boil soup for 15 minutes. Cool slightly then puree again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.Melt pumpkin butter in a large pot. Add carrots, banana, onion and shallots - sauté until vegetables are softened –about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender and puree until smooth. Return mixture to pan and add chicken stock and all remaining ingredients. Boil soup for 15 minutes. Cool slightly then puree again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.

[Sidebar] Hull and roast your pumpkin seeds in the oven at home for a healthy snack that’ll last all week and supply a regular source of good fat. On a cookie sheet, lightly roast for 15-20 minutes on 175 degrees.

Pumpkin pie is a Fall staple that’s sure to please. But for a decadent variation on the pumpkin theme, try this healthy, conversation piece of a dessert:

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1 cup raw cane sugar or barley malt crystals –unrefined and more nutritious

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nut oil – good fat that holds up to the high heat of baking

  • 1/2 cup naturally-sweetened yogurt – probiotics boost the immune system

  • 4 large egg whites

  • 3 cups whole spelt flour – whole grain goodness; bakes soft

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon – shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels and appetite

  • 1 1/4 tsp. sea salt

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 cup naturally-sweetened, dark chocolate chunks – powerful anti-oxidants

  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Find more dessert recipes on www.angelicindulgenc.com. Your special Pumpkin is sure to love you for it!

Stay Well!

Angela

Click here and check out Angela's other healthy tips.

*Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer

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