The pumpkin that's been living on our front porch for two weeks has officially been ravaged by the local wildlife. Squirrels, chipmunks, deer and birds have all had their turn, and now it's time for the gourd to be hurled into the woods for the critters to finish their work. I can't hold the destruction against them, though - pumpkin is nutritious and delicious!
You've no doubt heard by now that pumpkin is a healthy food. Anything that naturally bright orange in color is loaded with beta carotene, and pumpkin flesh is also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and of course FIBER. Their seeds, dry roasted on a cookie sheet, are a trove of the mineral magnesium, among other important minerals.
The internet is bursting with healthy savory recipes for pumpkin, from soups to roasts, salads to stews. Essentially anything you could or would do with a cooked carrot you can do with pumpkin flesh. Pumpkin is especially glorious in curries. It's a high fiber, high vitamin and mineral and low glycemic load vegetable that helps fill out nearly any kind of dish with healthy autumnal flair.
But it gets tricky on the "sweet" side of things. Any way you slice it, pumpkin pie is a treat because the custard part is packed with sugar (don't get me started on the crust). There are some decent low-sugar low-carb pumpkin dessert recipes out there, but I'm not a baker and I find anything with more than a 2-step baking process to be out of my league. So here's an EXTREMELY EASY recipe for adding some pumpkin to your life in a high-protein and low carbohydrate fashion:
Jenn's Recipe for "Pumpkin Pie" Filling Snack
a 1/3 can of pumpkin OR the pureed roasted flesh (skin not included) of your holiday pumpkin. "Sugar" pumpkins are the best. If you're so inclined to make it fresh, here's very good guidance on how: ROASTING/PUREEING A SUGAR PUMPKIN
1 scoop vanilla or any vanilla variation protein powder, preferably casein powder (creamier than whey)
1 TBS almond butter
pinch of pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 pinch of cinnamon, 1/2 pinch nutmeg)
a cereal bowl or mug
Combine all ingredients in your bowl or mug and mix with a spoon (a fork works too). I like to put the protein powder in first and add equal splashes of almond milk and water until you have a very thick pudding texture. Then add the pumpkin,
Eat it :) Nutritionally, it beats the heck out of a leftover slice of pumpkin pie on Black Friday.
Happy autumn and bon appétit!