Autumn Awareness

Butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, roasted herbed potatoes,  Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, onions, garlic, and countless varieties of apples just to name a few…these are all things that bring autumn to our hearts and minds. Since pumpkin-flavored everything is all the rage this time of year, let’s look at the beautiful vegetable and why it got its fame.

Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene, an important antioxidant linked to lower rates of certain cancers including breast cancer and lung cancer.  Studies suggest a reduced risk of developing estrogen receptor negative breast cancer in women who consumed more carotene rich foods and a carotenoid-rich diet may reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer.  Other studies suggest carotene-rich foods may protect against many other types of cancer (prostate, esophagus, head and neck, stomach, colon, ovary, kidney, bladder, pancreas, cervix, and skin), as well as heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. Pumpkin is also high in fiber which is important for healthy digestion, hunger and weight control, healthy heart and cancer prevention.

1. Roast Seeds.  Scoop from pumpkin and rinse, removing stringy flesh.  Lay flat to dry.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet covered in parchment paper with dry pumpkin seeds.  Drizzle with olive oil and add spices or simply sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Try cumin for a kick.  Serve plain or on top of oatmeal, salads, chili, etc.

2. Impress Your Guests with Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
Mix half baked potato with half roasted pumpkin when making mashed potatoes.

5. Blend Your Roasted Pumpkin
The Pumpkin Apple Smoothie is a favorite! Blend roasted pumpkin with apples, spices, pears, and more for a delicious fall smoothie.

6. Add Raw Pumpkin to Your Juice
In the Fall Harvest Cinnamon Juice you use raw pumpkin for a naturally sweet juice and a high yield. Wash well and leave rind on when juicing. Cut carefully to fit into juicer chute.

7. Warm Up to Pumpkin Soup
Combine roasted pumpkin with onions, garlic, apple, a touch of curry for a warm, filling yet light meal on a cool autumn evening or Sunday afternoon.  

8. Full Up on Pumpkin Chili 
Add roasted pumpkin and cinnamon to your favorite spicy chili.  Hot, sweet and unexpectedly delicious!

SKINCARE AND PUMPKIN

If you’re a pumpkin or key lime pie fan, you’re going to eat up this dark-spot-reversing scrub. Combining the vitamin A of the pumpkin, the citric acid of the lime, and the lauric acid of the coconut oil, this scrub works to break down damaged, darkened skin cells that the sugar can then manually exfoliate away. At the same time, the vitamin C and citric acids in the key lime juice help to brighten your skin to further diminish the appearance of dark spots.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons pumpkin, fresh and pureed or canned + 1 key lime, juiced + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin cold-pressed coconut oil + 3 tablespoons white sugar

Steps:

  1. Mix together in small bowl to form masque.
  2. Apply to darkened areas, avoiding your eye area. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before gently scrubbing away.
  3. Rinse clean with warm water.

How do you use your pumpkin?!!!!