By Eliza Short, RD, Communications Coordinator for Jackson In Action
With a drop in temperatures and fall colors coming to a peak, it is time to transition to cool weather activities. One such activity involves the Jackson in Action Harvest of the Month for November. Whether you pick up a pumpkin at the store, or drive to a pumpkin patch, a variety of nutritious meals can be created from just one pumpkin! They are especially popular during the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving, and are packed with Vitamin A, potassium, and Vitamin C. And let’s not forget pumpkin seeds, which contain the healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, protein, potassium and magnesium. Below, you may read about the many uses of pumpkin in cooking, so you can incorporate this healthy food into your meals at home!
Pumpkin can be purchased in a can at the grocery store, but in the fall you may purchase a whole pumpkin to get the added bonus of pumpkin seeds. To use the whole pumpkin, first cut the top off and remove the seeds (discard the stringy pulp of the pumpkin). Save the seeds to dry and roast. You may use one of the three methods below to prepare the mashed pumpkin:
- Cut the pumpkin in half. In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender.
- Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it.
- Cut the pumpkin in half, peel the pumpkin and cut it into chunks.
- Place in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender.
- Let the chunks cool, then purée the flesh in a food processor or mash it with a potato masher or food mill.
- Cut the pumpkin in half, microwave on high power for seven minutes per pound, turning pieces every few minutes to promote even cooking. Process as above.
- You can refrigerate your fresh pumpkin purée for up to three days, or store it in the freezer up to six months.
Taken from: dish.allrecipes.com
Spice up your meals with mashed pumpkin!
1. Add 1 cup of mashed pumpkin to your favorite chili recipe
2. Add mashed pumpkin to a stir fry of peppers, onions, and black beans to make a quesadilla filling
3. Mix in pancake batter with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon to create pumpkin spice pancakes
4. For a stuffed shells recipe, blend the ricotta cheese and pumpkin together
5. Use mashed pumpkin instead of tomato sauce for a homemade pizza, and add toppings of onion, garlic, arugula, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses
6. Try a homemade hummus recipe with pumpkin, chickpeas, garlic, and rosemary
Harvest of the Month
On Tuesday, November 15th, from 11:30am-12:30pm, join Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RDN, CD, BRMH Registered Dietitian at Black River Memorial Hospital for a Harvest of the Month recipe demonstration featuring pumpkin. Taste tests and recipes will be provided.
Featured Recipe: Pumpkin Maple Nut Granola
(VIEW this recipe in VIDEO format: www.brmh.net/recipes)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 egg whites
- 3/4 cup maple syrup (or half sugar-free, half regular)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- pinch of cloves
- pinch of salt
- 4 ½ cups oats
- 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped or walnuts
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds or almonds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (or flax seed)
- 3/4 cup dried cherries or craisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a big mixing bowl whisk together all of the first 8 ingredients (pumpkin through salt). Stir well to combine.
- Add in the oats, pecans, coconut, pumpkin seeds or almonds and chia seeds or flax seed, leaving only the dried cherries (or craisins) out. Pinch the oat mixture together to form small clumps on top of the baking sheet.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, stir then bake another 20 minutes. If the granola is still not crisp after 40 minutes, turn the heat down to 275 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Mix in dried cherries or dried cranberries.
*Note: Sugar Free syrup can lose its sweetness in baking.