5 Ways to Use Your Leftover Pumpkin
Now that Halloween has come and gone, what will you do with your pumpkins? _x000D_ _x000D_ Since pumpkins are most commonly used for Fall decor and carving, we often forget just how much nutritional value they have to offer. Before taking your pumpkins out to the compost this week, why not get creative in the kitchen with them instead? _x000D_ _x000D_ Pumpkins are a complex carbohydrate packed with fibre, which provides your body with slow releasing energy (read: great pre-workout snack). The fibre in pumpkins also feeds your friendly gut bacteria to help keep your digestive system running smoothly. _x000D_ _x000D_ Pumpkins are high in beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A that gives it a deep orange color. Beta carotene is an antioxidant vitamin that helps protect the health of your cells and keeps your vision sharp. Beta carotene is also known to improve the overall appearance of your skin, giving it a signature glow (but don’t worry- you won’t glow orange!). _x000D_ _x000D_ Forget pumpkin spice lattes- here are five delicious and nutritious ways to get the most out of your pumpkins this fall. _x000D_ _x000D_ 1. Pumpkin Soup _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ When you steam and blend fork-tender pumpkin with your favourite herbs, spices, onions, garlic and ginger, you’ll feel as though you never want fall to end. _x000D_ _x000D_ Pumpkin combines especially well with curry spice and makes a thick, satiating soup. Our favourite combination is steamed pumpkins, sauteed garlic and onions, madras curry spice, black pepper, organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you’re vegetarian) and a steamed sweet potato. _x000D_ _x000D_ Simply scoop out the seeds from your pumpkin, then carve out the inside of your pumpkin to chop into cubes and steam. Once your pumpkin is tender, combine it with all of your other ingredients in a Vitamix, blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and enjoy. _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ You may also want to roast your pumpkin seeds to snack on or top your soup with for an extra boost of magnesium. _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ 2. Pumpkin Muffins _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ Pumpkin makes an ideal muffin because of its fibrous and versatile texture. You can mix pumpkin with aluminum free baking powder, baking soda, a few eggs and any whole grain flour of your choice (our favourite is organic spelt flour or quinoa flour). _x000D_ To sweeten the mixture, you may want to add a natural sweetener such as Manuka Honey Gold or Organic Traditions Stevia Powder. _x000D_ _x000D_ Pumpkin muffins make a great breakfast or pre-workout snack on the go because of the slow releasing energy they provide. You can store your pumpkin muffins in the freezer to give them a longer shelf life, although it’s not likely they’ll last long enough to freeze!_x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ 3. Pumpkin Protein Smoothie _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ Pumpkins are also high in potassium, an electrolyte needed for proper nerve function. Potassium is depleted by stress and is lost through sweat during exercise. _x000D_ _x000D_ Due to its carbohydrate content, pumpkin can also be used to efficiently replenish glycogen stores after you’ve crushed a workout. _x000D_ _x000D_ For the perfect pumpkin protein smoothie, blend:_x000D_ _x000D_ 1/4 cup of pumpkin_x000D_ 1 scoop of Progressive Organic Whey Protein (either plain or vanilla)_x000D_ 2 tbsp hemp hearts _x000D_ 1 cup nut unsweetened vanilla nut milk of your choice _x000D_ ½ of a frozen banana _x000D_ 1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional) _x000D_ _x000D_ Drink immediately and enjoy!_x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ 4. Overnight Pumpkin Oats in a Jar _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ Perhaps the best thing about overnight oats is how creative you can get by customizing your flavours and toppings. _x000D_ _x000D_ For a fall infused spin on overnight oats in a jar, why not add pumpkin, cinnamon, walnuts and some pumpkin pie spice? You may also want to top your oats with full fat organic greek yogurt, almond milk and a touch of manuka honey. This is an OIAJ combo you’ll want to enjoy for many fall seasons to come! _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ 5. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ Spice up your pancakes by adding a few tablespoons of pumpkin to your pancake batter. _x000D_ _x000D_ Just like overnight oats in a jar, you can customize your pancake batter to make the ultimate fall pumpkin. Add pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon or nutmeg to the mixture and top your pumpkins with hemp hearts, walnuts, greek yogurt or organic grass-fed butter.