Pumpkin is one of the best things you can put in your body; it’s full of fiber (3-5 grams per 1/2 cup serving! That’s huge!), carotenoids, other fancy veggie phytonutrients that fight aging and disease. It fills you up without using up all your calories for the day- about 7 net carbs per 1/2 cup serving and 50 calories. The typical spice used with pumpkin, cinnamon, is also amazing for you, with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, pro-cardiovascular, and cholesterol-lowering effects… So then WHY do we typically screw up all those health benefits by processing pumpkin into a sugary pump to put in a coffee drink or making a dessert that’s basically sugar instead of enhancing the natural deliciousness of this incredibly healthy vegetable??? 😦 Fall should be a time of increased health from the rich variety of colorful produce we have, not a time to start packing on the processed, sugary food. But anyways.
Here is an easy recipe using canned pumpkin (fresh pumpkin DOES taste more fresh but takes 1-2 hours longer to produce once you cut and bake it) and toasted nuts instead of butter. Butter = increased cardiovascular disease risk.1, 2, 3 Nuts, although they still contain fat, contain the good kind of fat and actually DECREASES cardiovascular disease risk when eaten in proper portion size.4 You don’t have to toast the nuts but it really adds a caramel-y fall goodness to the dish.
Pumpkin Pudding– Serves 5-6
1 X 29 oz can pumpkin
1/4 cup real maple syrup or honey
1 cup roasted pecans, plus more for plating if desired
2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger
Put all the above ingredients in a blender, blend until it’s well-mixed while scraping down the sides, and you may need to add water or milk of some variety for it to mix fully if it gets too thick. Split into ramekin dishes to serve as pudding or add more water or milk of whatever variety you choose to turn it into a smoothie. If served as pudding, may sprinkle with roasted pecans and cinnamon to change up texture.