Hy-Vee at Midday: Pumpkin Power

By Kimberly Proctor, Hy-Vee Dieitian

Halloween has come and gone, but the season for celebrating pumpkin has just begun. It's time to move pumpkin from the porch to the pantry! Pumpkin has long been recognized for its role in holiday pies, but this versatile vegetable is also delicious in savory dishes. Today, Kimberly Proctor, your Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee dietitian, will share two of her family's favorite pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin's lovely orange flesh is packed with nutrition. It's a great source of vitamin A, and contains an impressive 4 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving. Weighing in at only 40 calories per serving, pumpkin is a low-calorie way to get a nutrition boost. Canned pumpkin puree is both convenient and inexpensive, making it an ideal pantry staple.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, offer nutrition benefits of their own. These crunchy, nutty and slightly sweet seeds are a good source of heart-healthy fats and dietary fiber. Pepitas are antioxidant-rich and offer 9 grams of protein per 1 ounce serving. Pepitas are excellent served roasted for snacking, or added to your favorite salad for a delightful crunch.

Spicy Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili
All you need:
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 bell peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. lean ground turkey, cooked
2 (15 oz.)cans Hy-Vee black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz.) can Hy-Vee tomatoes with green chilies
1 (15 oz.) can Hy-Vee pumpkin
3 cups Hy-Vee reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. each parsley, chili powder, oregano, and cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
All you do:
In a large saucepan, sauté onion, bell peppers and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add beef, black beans, tomatoes with green chilies, pumpkin, chicken broth and spices. Simmer 20 minutes, or put in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
Recipe adapted from: www.tasteofhome.com

Pepita Granola
(serves 20)
All you need:
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup pepitas, raw unsalted
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup honey
6 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
Dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, blueberries or cranberries (optional)
All you do:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, walnuts and pepitas. Pour maple syrup mixture over and stir to coat. Turn mixture out onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool, add dried fruit if desired, and store in air-tight container.

Nutrition per ¼ cup serving: 134 calories; 8 g fat; 14 g carbohydrate; 3.5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 30 mg sodium.

Recipe adapted from www.eatingwell.com
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