Pumpkins are an October-November staple for most people. In addition to being a Halloween decoration, pumpkins provide lots of nutritional value at Thanksgiving and beyond. Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas (hull-less), are low in Cholesterol and Sodium, and a good source of Protein, Vitamin K, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Manganese. Raw seeds have fewer antioxidants than roasted seeds. Fresh and canned pumpkins alike are packed full with healthy nutrients.
If you want some tips on keeping your decorative pumpkin out of landfills or from generating harmful methane gas that contributes to climate change, check out Pumpkin Smash in Illinois, and see these National Geographic tips below. Try……..
- Composting (first break the pumpkin into smaller chunks)
- Pumpkin wine from the fermented pumpkin flesh
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- Pumpkin puree mixed into dog food
- Pig, goat, animal treats (check with local farmers)
- Zoo animal treats/toys (see Oregon Zoo, Pumpkins for Pigs website)
- Do not toss pumpkins out for wildlife (attracts predators)
One (1) bunch of fresh kale leaves
Salt to taste
Prepare: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Wash and strip the kale leaves from stems. Individually place on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle olive oil over the leaves. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until leaves are crispy but not brown. Enjoy!
USDA Nutrition Facts In One Cup of Raw Kale:
Calories – 7.2
Fat – 0.3 grams
Sodium – 11 mg
Carbs – 0.9 grams
Fiber – 0.8 grams
Sugars – 0.2 grams
Protein – 0.6 grams
Vitamin A – 49.6 mcg
Vitamin K1 – 80.3 mcg
Vitamin C – 19 mg
Potassium – 71.7 mg
Calcium 52.3 mg
These ‘little seeds’ come from a variety of pumpkins and make a nutritious and delicious snack as they are packed with protein, good fats, minerals, and antioxidants. Regarding protein content, all nine essential amino acids are represented in these seeds. Seed-based antioxidants include plant phenols, zinc, and vitamin E. Pepitas are a great addition to smoothies, can be enjoyed with ice cream as a topping, or on oatmeal or other cereals.
A 1/4 cup serving of pepitas contains:
Protein – 9 grams
Fat – 14 grams
Carbs – 3 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Magnesium -168 mg
Potassium – 240 mg
Iron – 3 mg
Zinc – 2 mg
Copper – 0.4 mg
Morning Glory Zucchini Carrot Muffins from Monique Volz @ AmbitiousKitchen.com Photos by Eat Love Eats
Wonderful morning glory zucchini carrot muffins that are naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and filled with delicious mix-ins like coconut, raisins and nuts. These healthy zucchini carrot muffins have a boost of nutrition from oat flour and make the best freezer-friendly breakfast or snack that’s great for kids!
- For the wet ingredients:
- 1 medium zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel (1 cup shredded zucchini)
- 1 cup shredded carrot (from 2 medium to large carrots)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce (or sub 1 ripe mashed banana)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the dry ingredients:
- 1 cup oat flour (I used store bought oat flour)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour (or all purpose GF flour)
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (not the large flakes)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For the mix-ins:
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- ⅓ cup chopped Medjool dates or raisins
- For topping (optional):
- Rolled oats
- More chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 10 muffin liners and grease the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Shred and measure out zucchini (it should be about 1 heaping cup), then place in a paper towel or cheese cloth and squeeze out all the excess moisture.
In a large bowl mix together the wet ingredients: shredded zucchini, shredded carrot, applesauce, maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well combined.
In a separate large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: oat flour, all purpose flour (or gf flour), shredded coconut, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chopped walnuts and chopped Medjool dates/raisins.
Evenly divide the batter between the muffin liners. Sprinkle the tops with rolled oats and a few more chopped walnuts if you’d like. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Servings: 10 muffins
Serving size: 1 muffin
Saturated fat: 9.1g
Artichokes are vegetables from the edible flower buds of Cynara scolymus. It’s important to purchase fresh globes that are firm, round, and seem heavy, avoiding ones with dry leaves that are already opening/opened (old).
Fresh artichokes can be prepared by boiling them in 2 quarts of water for one hour, along with olive oil, salt, lemon juice, chopped garlic, thyme, rosemary, and tarragon to taste. Once they are cooked, residual strained liquid is separately retained as a perfect base for soup or for boiling pasta. Artichokes can be served with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, melted butter.
Artichokes have a high antioxidant profile including polyphenols like cynarine and silymarin, and flavonoids like rutin, quercitin, apigenin and luteolin (Negro. J Food Sci 2012). A medium sized artichoke provides 70 calories and 7 grams of fiber, including the fiber inulin to help balance blood sugar. This vegetable is a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K. Enjoy some artichokes today!
Chick Pea Tacos ( A great recipe from my daughter-in-law).
1 x 16 oz can chick peas
1 package dry taco seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 package soft taco shells
Lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, canned corn, sour cream
1 dash of pepper
1 tsp ground fresh garlic
Chopped green/sweet peppers
Sautee the chick peas in olive oil and then stir in taco seasoning mixed according to the package directions. Add minced garlic, chopped peppers, and chopped onions, and continue to sautee for 7-8 minutes. Add hot ingredients to small soft taco shells and top with lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, canned or fresh cooked corn.
This recipe provides lots of powerful antioxidant-and anti-inflammatory-rich vegetables. Leftover chick peas heat up nicely for another meal. Enjoy!
One-Pot Tomato Lentil Pasta ( Well + Good May 2021)
Yields 4 servings
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 tsp Italian spice mix
1/2 tsp chili flakes
10.5 oz dry spaghetti noodles
3 cups tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1&1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
1/2 cup green olives, sliced or chopped
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato in oil, drained from a jar, chopped
1 Tbsp capers
2 cups fresh spinach
- Add the oil to a large pot on medium high heat. When hot, add the garlic, onion, bouillon cube, Italian seasoning and red chili pepper flakes, sauteeing for two to three minutes. Add splashes of water as needed to deglaze the pot. Then, add the pasta, pasta sauce, water, cherry tomatoes, lentils, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and partially cover with a lid. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat until pasta is al dente. Check on it every few minutes to stir and ensure the bottom of the pot does not burn.
- When the pasta is al dente, add the spinach and stir, cooking for an additional minute before removing the pot from the heat.
- Serve it generously into bowls, top with some freshly sliced basil leaves, and enjoy!
1 x 16 oz package broccoli florets
4.5 Tbsp EVOO, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
1 pint snacking tomatoes
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp pepper
3.5 Cups cooked orzo
3/4 cup lemon and olive oil vinaigrette
- Preheat over to 425 degrees F.
- On large baking sheet, toss broccoli with 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Roast 15 minutes. Remove from oven, add tomatoes and drizzle with 1/2 Tbsp oil. Return to oven and roast 8 minutes.
- Heat large saute pan over medium heat. Add remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and onion, cook 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add chickpeas; cook 5 minutes. Season with 1 tsp pepper and remaining 1 tsp salt. Chickpeas should be browned and crisp on edges.
- In large mixing bowl, combine cooked orzo, broccoli, tomatoes, chickpea mixture and vinaigrette. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately, refrigerating any leftovers.
(Kroger www.PrivateSelection.com March 2021)
From Magnolia Journal Issue 18, 2021
Roasted Avocado Hummus
Prep: 10 minutes Roast: 15 minutes
1 medium just-ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cubed
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
3 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Crostini or pita chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place avocado and garlic on a small foil-lined baking pan. Drizzle with 1&1/2 tsp of EVOO, toss to coat. Roast 15 minutes or until avocado is softened and garlic is roasted.
- Combine roasted avocado and garlic, beans, basil, the remaining EVOO, the lemon juice, tahini, and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Transfer hummus to a bowl. Sprinkle with pepper and, if desired, additional basil leaves. Serve with crostini or pita chips.
Makes 1&1/2 cups