Wednesday, October 9, 2013


     It is beginning to feel a lot like fall here in the state of Florida and as my husband puts it, "it is time to pumpkinfy everything." I made be a little obsessed with the sweet smell and the creamy taste of pumpkin but I also love it for all of it's amazing health benefits. 

     One health benefit you receive from pumpkins is obvious just by looking at it: antioxidants. What do I mean when I say it is obvious? It is because of its bright bold orange color. Anytime you find a fruit or vegetable with deep orange or red colors, you can know right away that it is full of antioxidants. 


     Pumpkins are also full of vitamin A which aids in vision. They contain fiber, so they are good for weight loss (be sure to drink your water with fiber!) Another benefit that I love, is that pumpkins are great for your skin. You can use them either internally or make a fun face mask to apply it topically.
    You don't have to stop with the tasty gooey flesh of the pumpkin, those crunchy little seeds are great for you too. They are alkalizing and anti-inflammatory. They also contain high amounts of zinc which is great for prostate health.
    So today I leave you with a few delicious pumpkin recipes from some blogs I enjoy. Please check them out as they have other great recipes too! Feel free to leave a comment and let us all know your favorite pumpkin recipe below! 

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte 
(The Nourishing Gourmet)

¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk, cream, milk of choice, or water
½ teaspoon vanilla (gluten-free, as needed)
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 drops of liquid stevia (such as NuNatural’s version) or 1-4 tablespoons of sweetener of choice such as rapadura, maple syrup, honey, etc.
1 ½ -2 cups of strongly brewed coffee or 4 shots of espresso with added water to equal 2 cups
¾- 1 cup of full fat coconut milk, dairy-free milk of choice, or cow or goat milk
Cinnamon for sprinkling on the top, optional
Coconut whipped cream, optional

Mix the pumpkin puree, tablespoon of milk, spices, and sweetener in a small bowl. Whisk well.In a small pot or saucepan, whisk the coffee and pumpkin mixture together, and heat until at desired temperature.In a separate small pot or saucepan, heat the milk of choice, and using a handheld frother, froth it. (I find this works best when the milk is JUST hot, not boiling).Divide the coffee mixture into two cups, and pour the foamed milk over it. Top with coconut whipped cream, if desired, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve and enjoy.

(Husband Tested Recipes from Alice's Kitchen) 

For the vinaigrette:
1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Place the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar. Screw on a tight fitting lid.  Shake the jar vigorously.  Set aside. (This can be made a day or two in advance and left at room temperature.)
For spicy pepitas: Place 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) with 1 teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt on a rimmed baking sheet.  Toss to coat the seeds.  Slightly shake the baking sheet to evenly spread the seeds on the baking sheet. Roast at 375 until golden and fragrant, 6-8 minutes (you’ll hear them popping).  Cool completely on the baking sheet.  (Can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.)
For the salad:
4 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
4 cups mixed baby greens
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (blue cheese or goat cheese would be nice substitutes)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 cup spicy pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
To assemble the salad, combine the cabbage and onion in a medium bowl and set aside.  Up to an hour before serving, add the beet wedges to the cabbage and onion and gently toss with half the vinaigrette.
Just before serving, add the baby greens, half of the feta, and half of the pepitas; toss with the remaining vinaigrette.  Arrange on a big serving platter and garnish with the remaining feta and pepitas.

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