A fall staple, the pumpkin gets its rich orange color from beta-carotene. Beta-carotene functions as an antioxidant which protects the body from damaging molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to chronic illness over time.
Colder temperatures and the change of the season can trigger sickness, too. And if a runny nose and congestion has ever knocked you out of your training routine, you understand the benefits of fighting off these show stoppers. The nutrition benefits of pumpkin’s Vitamin A help to maintain a strong immune system by providing over half of your daily needs in a 1 cup serving.
Cold temps can also mean stiff muscles, which may lead to muscle cramping. In addition to a proper warm up, incorporating pumpkin in your diet provides a source of Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium. These 3 minerals work together to reduce muscle cramping during training.
Quick and Easy Pumpkin Recipes
Roasted Pumpkin & Squash
Roast diced pumpkin with diced squash and/or sweet potatoes. To roast, cook at 400F for 30-40 minutes. Add a touch of cayenne for a fall fiesta, or try cinnamon and nutmeg for a true fall flavor.
Mix pumpkin purée with a touch of pure maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Spread mixture on whole-grain toast
Blend 1 cup of pumpkin purée with 1 cup of nonfat milk, 1 banana, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of honey. Add ice cubes if desired and blend again. Sprinkle with nutmeg (Bonus: Add a tablespoon of almond butter for extra healthy fats!)
Easy Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss seeds in a drizzle of olive oil and Himalayan sea salt. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.
Spicy: coat with cayenne pepper
Sweet: coat with cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice
Easy Pumpkin Soup
Servings: 4 -6
3 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp dry thyme
2 cups milk low-fat
1-2 tsp lemon juice or to taste
a pinch of nutmeg
salt ground black pepper
Combine pumpkin puree, chicken stock and thyme and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add milk, lemon juice and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Boil for one more minute.
by Rose Marie Jarry, Master Chef at Kronobar
- ½ medium size pumpkin chopped in fries shape (about 3 cups)
- ¼ cup avocado/coconut oil
- 1 TBS Cajun spice mix
- 1 TSP pink Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Peel and chop the raw pumpkin into fries. To do this, first wash the pumpkin well. Then half the pumpkin, scooping out the stringy insides. Then quarter the pumpkin, before finally cut it into thinner slices. Finally, you will need to peel/cut away the thick pumpkin skin with a knife. This will take a bit of work and knife handling.
- Pour half of the oil on a cookie sheet, spreading it evenly.
- In a bowl, pour the other half of oil onto the chopped pumpkin fries along with the spices. Rub fries well and then spread the fries evenly on the cookie sheet.
- Cook 60 minutes. Keep an eye on them – especially around 45 minutes to make sure your oven does not burn them. Mix them on the sheet now again to keep them from sticking to it.