Not only are pumpkins great for fall-themed decorations and Thanksgiving’s favorite dessert, they’re also packed with fiber, calcium, vitamins and folic acid. Here’s how you can add more fiber to your diet with fresh pumpkin.
Preparing Fresh Pumpkin
Although purchasing canned pumpkin in the grocery store is certainly simple, adventurous cooks may prefer preparing their own organic version at home. The good news is that preparing pumpkin is just as easy as making any other gourd and requires no special kitchen equipment. Simply slice the pumpkin in half — smaller sized gourds are easier to manage — and remove the pulp. Save the seeds for later —they’re delicious lightly roasted — but scrape the strings into the trash or compost bin. Peel off the skin, and cut the remaining pulp into small pieces.
You can steam or boil the pieces until they’re tender and easy to mash. Place the soft pieces into a food processor or blender, and puree until the mash is smooth. Add salt to taste. Did you make too much? Place in a tightly sealed container and freeze until ready, or use immediately for instant gratification!
Using Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree is delicious on its own, in baked goods such as bread and cookies, or as the base for your very own pumpkin cheesecake. If you’re looking for something a bit healthier, try this simple, fiber-packed Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe. Because it calls for yogurt or kefir, you’ll also benefit from the power of probiotics, which are live bacteria that also help your body operate at peak efficiency.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup 2% plain yogurt or kefir
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- several ice cubes
- organic maple syrup to taste, if desired
Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. What could be simpler?