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Pumpkin, please.

October 24, 2009

pumpkins. all worth the mess

I go through phases where I become obsessed with different types of ingredients/food and right now, I want pumpkin everything (no, I’m not pregnant). It’s probably a good thing that pumpkin season is about two months long, otherwise I might risk becoming allergic to it. I love to bake with pumpkin, but the other night I decided to make a soup instead. It’s easy, healthy, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients (for those on a budget) and satisfies your pumpkin craving. Once we get closer to Thanksgiving, I’ll be sure to share my pumpkin pie recipe (yes it’s healthy). I’ve also included other tasty ways to enjoy pumpkin before it they go out of season, enjoy!

Reasons (or justifications) why you should eat pumpkin:

1). excellent source of antioxidant beta-carotene 2). low calorie & fat 3). 90% water 4). high in fiber 5). loaded with potassium 6). great for your skin 7). anti-inflammatory 8). vitamin a & c 9). zinc 10). like I always say, it will keep your pants fitting right, not tight.

Pumpkin Soup (vegetarian, dairy & gluten-free)

3 cups cooked pumpkin, freshly pureed (or a 29 oz can, it’s easier) OR you can replace with sweet potatoes, my last months obsession

4 cups of water

2-3 Tbps olive oil

2 cups minced onion

1 large bell pepper, minced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp chile powder

2-3 Tbs fresh lime juice

freshly ground pepper

Toppings: lightly toasted pumpkin seeds & finely minced scallions

1. Combine the pumpkin and water in a soup pot of Dutch oven. Stir until uniform. Partically cover, and heat gently, stirring often.

2. Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper, and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and chili powder; stir and cover. Cook over low heat for about 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender.

3. Add the sauté and lime juice to the soup. Stir well, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Season to taste with black pepper, and adjust salt, if necessary. Serve hot, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and minced scallions.

Prep time: 30 min; Serves 6

My other FAVORITE pumpkin pleasures…

♦ Pumpkin latte (fat free, soy or rice depending on allergies or preference)

♦ Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. I only buy pumpkins for the seeds, no patience to (or talent) to create a masterpiece that will rot on my back porch. Time to get dirty, scoop out those yummy pumpkin seeds, clean (may consider boiling in salt water) and then be patient because they need to dry. Next, spread out on a baking sheet, “sprinkle” salt and bake at 300 for about 15-20 minutes.

♦ Don’t want to cook? You’re in luck because Babycakes (only the greatest gluten-free, sugar-free, wheat-free, soy-free, casein-free, egg-free, vegan and kosher bakery) delivers!

♦ Vegan Pumpkin Pie by Fat Free Vegan

♦ Pumpkin Pie Muffins by Elana’s Pantry

My pumpkin pie recipe to come in November

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