Ahh fall… the time when the leaves turn beautiful colors of yellow, orange and red. The air gets crisper. The temperature drops so we turn our attention toward warmer, perhaps heartier foods. We start to think about the upcoming holidays and all of the food choices we make at this time of the year with all of the “special celebrations.”
There are so many “fall foods” that are fun to think about – pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING, apple crisp, fresh apples from the orchard, roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash soup… the list goes on and on! As a matter of fact, there are SO MANY fall foods we can’t talk about all of them here but we can focus on one very popular one – the magical pumpkin!
Types of Pumpkins
Pumpkins come in many varieties. The large ones are mostly for decoration or carving because they have a stringier texture that does not provide us with that amazing mouth feel we get from pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup. Pie pumpkins are smaller and sweeter and lend themselves well to almost any pumpkin recipe you want to make. Miniature ones are also typically used for decoration because there is not a lot of “meat” to them once you roast them.
Fresh or canned?
So, your next question is probably why would I go through the trouble of roasting a fresh pumpkin when I can buy it canned? Either will work but I find a taste difference when using fresh, roasted pumpkin in recipes. It’s certainly up to you which you use and as long as it’s 100% canned pumpkin there’s still a lot of nutrition bang for your buck. I would encourage you to be aware that canned “pumpkin pie” pumpkin has sugar added to it, so depending on the recipe you are using it for that may or may not be what you are looking for.
Pumpkin is a nutrient dense food with a lot of vitamins and minerals and few calories (before we mix in the pie ingredients😊). One cup of pumpkin provides 137 calories, 3 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbohydrate and 7 grams of fiber, along with a significant dose of vitamin A, vitamin K, copper, vitamin E and iron. These nutrients are good for increasing immunity and immune health, eye health, skin health and heart health, as well as improving blood sugars.
Learn how to roast a pumpkin with this blog from kitchn (it’s much easier than you think!) and one of my favorite ways to enjoy pumpkin, in this turkey pumpkin chili recipe from Family Style Food. Enjoy all that this fall season has to offer and cheers to finishing out 2022 with massive amounts of health!