Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Pumpkins: Not Just For Pie Anymore!
At restaurants, look for pumpkin soups, bread, muffins, pumpkin-flavored pasta dishes (think gnocchi or ravioli), and decadent desserts, from cheesecake to gelato.
At home, keep a few cans of pumpkin puree on hand and stir a big spoonful into almost anything: soups, stews, yogurt, curries, pancakes, even meatball mixtures.
In fact, there may be nothing you can't pump up with pumpkin -- including coffee: Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte boosted the chain's sales 11% when it debuted! Need an extra prod to try pumpkin in something besides pie? Here are a half-dozen reasons to go for the gourd.
5. It gives your immune system a . . . boost. A ½ cup serving of pumpkin delivers a war chest of immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients, including alpha and beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, and enough vitamin A to last you three days!
6. It gives your bones a little extra love. You'll also pick up a little extra bone-building calcium with each serving. Plus beta-cryptoxanthin defends against joint-destroying rheumatoid arthritis.
P.S. Wondering about canned versus fresh pumpkin? Canned is a little less sweet but, surprisingly, it's a little more nutritious. It has more fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, iron, and folate than fresh. It also wins huge points for convenience! And all that filling fiber pays off in more ways than appetite control: Eating a high-fiber diet can make your RealAge up to 3.5 years younger.