Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin seeds’

If you’re anything like me, you love the Fall because that time of year means pumpkin everything! I can’t get enough it, but, each year as new pumpkin treats have been released, I have tried to get my pumpkin fix in healthier ways, with a splurge here or there, of course. Some of my go-to’s are Icelandic pumpkin spice yogurt and making protein balls and overnight oats with pumpkin spice peanut butter and canned pumpkin. There are so many ways to enjoy pumpkin for the whole season!


Pumpkins are already a Fall staple for most people in many ways, from pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes to carving pumpkins to make Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween. Pumpkins are extremely versatile. Most of us are probably already quite familiar with pumpkin’s use in sweet treats, but it can be also be the star of many savory dishes. Pumpkin can be great in soups, pasta, and even enchiladas or quesadillas. Give a savory pumpkin recipe a try, and check out this recipe for a hearty turkey pumpkin chili sure to warm you up on any Fall night!

Getting creative with pumpkin recipes this Fall is a great idea because pumpkins are packed with nutrients. They are full of vitamin A, hence their orange hue, as well as vitamin C. Pumpkins also provide 3g of fiber per 1/2 cup of cooked pumpkin, along with a good amount of potassium in each serving. They are also fat free, cholesterol free, and sodium free. So how do you pick the perfect pumpkin? You want to select a pumpkin that is firm, without any major cuts or blemishes, and heavy for its size. If you are looking for a carving pumpkin, be sure to find one with a smooth, blemish free face and sturdy stem.

Don’t forget about the seeds, though! Pumpkin seeds are high in protein and fiber, as well as some heart healthy fats. When you go to carve a pumpkin for Halloween, don’t be so quick to toss your seeds! Roasting pumpkin seeds is both an easy and tasty activity. The first part of carving a pumpkin is to open the top and clear out the seeds from the inside. Instead of continuing the pumpkin carving right away, take a quick break and bring your seeds to the kitchen. core-2728867_1920Place your seeds onto a large sheet pan, and don’t worry about rinsing any of the pumpkin juices off of the seeds; that will add some extra earthy flavor. Toss the seeds with a little olive oil and your favorite spices. My family is partial to either simple salt and pepper or cajun seasoning. Then, just pop the pan into the oven and let the seeds roast while you finish carving your pumpkin! Take them out of the oven once they have become golden brown, and you can stir them occasionally to ensure even roasting. Enjoy!

With Halloween around the corner, there are plenty of ways to use pumpkin to make healthy treats for the kids that everyone in the family will love. Check out some fun pumpkin recipes on eatright.org, pumpkin smoothie, and chocolaty pumpkin bars. What are some of your favorite uses for pumpkin?

Writer: Amy Meehan, Healthy People Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension.

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County.








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pumpkintowerFall is the perfect time to enjoy pumpkins. My OSU Extension county office is located in Circleville, Ohio; home of The Circleville Pumpkin Show where you can find everything made from pumpkins. Although the show is over for 2016, check out the giant pumpkins shown at the event.  Some of these pumpkins weighed over 1,600 pounds! When you visit the show, you can taste a wide variety of food items made from pumpkin. We have everything from pumpkin chili and sloppy joes, to pumpkin pancakes, to my personal favorite, pumpkin brownies.

Did you know that Halloween pumpkins are edible? Look for pumpkins that are firm and heavy for their size. They are good sources of Vitamins A & C. Pumpkins are also fat, cholesterol and sodium free.  One half cup of pumpkin contains 25 calories, 6 grams total carbohydrate, 3 grams sugars, 1 gram protein and 1 gram of dietary fiber.

Looking for new ways to add pumpkin to your day? Try some of these recipe ideas:

  • Pumpkin Seeds – when carving your pumpkin, take the seeds out and roast them. Kids love getting their hands all gooey with the fibers that attach to the seeds. Add a little salt and you can enjoy a nutritious snack.
  • Pumpkin Pudding – a tasty light dessert that uses canned pumpkin. This easy mix and eat dessert brings fall to mind with the spices and fluffy pumpkin taste.
  • Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes – celebrate fall with this tasty breakfast treat. This recipe makes 12 servings at approximately 11 cents each. Top with apple slices for a low sugar treat.
  • Pumpkin Overnight Refrigerated Oatmeal – this new recipe combines rolled oats, Greek yogurt, pumpkin and spices for a tasty and easy breakfast. oatmeal3    oatsbowl





Need more ideas for this fall “Superfood”?  Check out the Fruit and Veggies More Matters website.

How will you get your Pumpkin fix? We want to hear from you. Share your story on the Live Healthy Live Well Facebook page.   

Photo Credits: Jennifer Driesbach

Michelle Treber


Goedkoop, S. Health-e-Recipes, American Institute of Cancer Research, Issue 628 retrieved October 7, 2016 from http://www.aicr.org/health-e-recipes/2016/pumpkin-spice-overnight-oats.html?_ga=1.45656932.1567956660.1370874924




Written by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu



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PumpkinsFall is the season of pumpkins.  We see them everywhere.  Most of us have at least one pumpkin on our porch or near our front door. If you have not cut into it you may want to get some health benefits from your purchase.  The pumpkin seeds are nutritious being high in protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc and phytosterols, as well as delicious.  Below is a recipe to toast the pumpkin seeds that is quick and easy.  My family buys pumpkins just to get the seeds.

The color of pumpkin lets you know that it is high in beta carotene (Vitamin A) but it is also high in fiber and potassium with little fat and sodium.  With only 50 calories per 1 cup it can be a good choice for eating, but it is rather sour tasting without adding sweetener.  Thus, we usually add pumpkin to other food mixtures to eat.

Pumpkin pie is a favorite and can be fairly healthy if we use fat-free evaporated milk and cut the sugar in half.  Most people can’t tell the difference and its less fat, sugar and calories.  My mother likes to make her pies without the crust so it is even healthier.  However, my family thinks it needs the crust.  Pumpkin pudding can be easy to make by just adding 1 cup of pumpkin and 1teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to an instant pudding mix and decreasing the milk to 1-1/4 cups.  What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?   Please share some with us.

Do you have a pumpkin on your porch for decoration that you have not cut up?  You can freeze the pulp and use it in recipes.  First, wash the outside of the pumpkin, cut into sections, and put the pieces with the rind up on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 325°F for 1 hour or more until the pumpkin is soft.  Remove the rind and put the pulp into the food processor to process until mashed.  If it is not thick enough to stand in peaks, simmer it on top of the range in a saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes.  Put into freezer bags the amount you can use at one time and leave some space at the top for expansion.  Freeze.  The product can be used like canned pumpkin.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Wash the seeds removing the strings the best you can.  Mix together 1 teaspoon salt to 2/3 cup of water and add seeds.  I use a glass measuring cup to soak the seeds overnight in salt water.  Drain the seeds and put on a baking sheet.  Put in the oven at 300°F for about 20 minutes or until golden.  Eat.  Enjoy!


USDA National Nutrient Database at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

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