Put Your Mind To It, Go For It

It’s the Great Pumpkin!

Posted on: September 30, 2010

A week ago, we officially entered Fall. Tomorrow, we officially enter October. Those are two official reasons for me to blog my love of pumpkin. The fruit is a great addition to autumn décor. The orange color adds spark to many a doorstep. The gourd also lends itself to one of my favorite Halloween traditions: carving a jack-o-lantern. But the best thing about pumpkin, in my opinion: eating it!

FYI – I see no need in waiting for fall to consume the Cucurbitaceae. It’s much easier to find this time of year but it’s delicious year round.

I’ve never been one to scoop and serve the squishy innards as part of my carving routine. I’m not even sure how I’d go about prepping it. Instead, I opt for the simplicity of canned pure pumpkin. (Be careful to buy pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.)

Not only does pumpkin taste great solo, but it makes fantastic addition to so many fit-friendly foods. AND, you can bulk up many-a-recipe with this super food. The stats are amazing:

A ½-cup serving consists of 40 calories, .5g fat, 5g fiber (and if you’re counting carbs, 9g carbohydrates) = one point!

Interestingly enough, if you double that serving to a full cup it’ll still only cost you one point.

What are you waiting for? Pump(kin) up your menu!

Not sure how to incorporate the winter squash into your life? Here’s some ideas…

  • As a breakfast mix-in. Add ½ cup of the pure stuff into your morning oatmeal or yogurt. You will give a nice Autumn flavor to your standard day-starter. For an extra yum-boost I sprinkle in some splenda and a bit of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. My friend Theresa, at thisismyhungryface is loving the morning mix-in too.
  • For baking. If you need to bring a baked good to a party this time of year, this “recipe” is perfect. Pumpkin muffins (or cupcakes if you add cool whip) are so easy and no one will ever know that they are low cal. Mix 15oz pure pumpkin with one box of spice cake mix (I’m sure carrot cake would rock too). Bake (following the cupcake time and temperature on the box). If your recipe make 18 muffins, you’ve got a 2-point treat.
  • As a dip or spread. Beat together 8oz fat free cream cheese, with 1 cup of pumpkin, ¼ cup splenda, and a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice. The whole recipe will run 5 points. Dip some apple slices, spread it on a crepe or bagel, mmm.

How else do you use pumpkin?

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Hot Sundae

Fictional girl singing group, Hot Sundae, sang "Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat!"

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