It's been nearly a year since I last posted here, and what a year it's been! Both my personal life and my professional life took dramatic turns for the worse (MUCH worse!), then the better (MUCH better!). Plus? I turned 50! It's been a roller coaster, to say the least.
To make the bad parts even worse, I gained 15 pounds. *sigh*
BUT! I'm ready to start over, get back on that horse, pull myself up by my bootstraps, give it another go.
Despite the fact that almost all my experiences with eating pumpkin have been of the "not even a little bit healthy" type, I know pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse, with lots of the good stuff (vitamins, minerals, fiber) and nearly none of the bad stuff (calories, fat). Maybe it's time I get to know pumpkin's healthy side...
Pumpkin is a fruit of the plant of the same name and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family that also includes gourds. It is quite similar to gourd in its appearance and is believed to have originated in North America. However, there is no fixed shape of pumpkins and they usually vary from being oblate to oblong. The rind is smooth, lightly ribbed and usually, orange or yellow in color. With a high nutritional value, pumpkins are associated with a lot of health benefits. Apart from the flesh, even the seeds of pumpkins boast of a large number of nutrition benefits. Read on to know more about the nutritious pumpkin.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 1 cup Pumpkin (cooked, boiled and drained):
Calcium - 37 mg
Carbohydrate - 12 gm
Dietary Fiber - 3 gm
Folate - 21 mcg
Iron - 1.4 mg
Magnesium - 22 mg
Niacin - 1 mg
Potassium - 564 mg
Protein - 2 grams
Selenium - 0.50 mg
Vitamin A - 2650 IU
Vitamin C - 12 mg
Vitamin E - 3 mg
Zinc - 1 mg
Calories - 49
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Pumpkin
Pumpkin is very rich in carotenoids, which is known for keeping the immune system of an individual strong and healthy.
Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, is a powerful antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps prevent build up of cholesterol on the arterial walls, thus reducing chances of strokes.
Being rich in alpha-carotene, pumpkin is believed to slow the process of aging and also prevent cataract formation.
Pumpkins have been known to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.
The high amount of fiber, present in a pumpkin, is good for the bowel health of an individual.
Being loaded with potassium, pumpkin is associated with lowering the risk of hypertension.
The presence of zinc in pumpkins boosts the immune system and also improves the bone density.
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
They promote overall prostate health, apart from alleviating the problem of difficult urination that is associated with an enlarged prostate.
They comprise of L-tryptophan, a compound that has been found to be effective against depression.
They are believed to serve as a natural protector against osteoporosis.
They have been known to reduce inflammation, without causing the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Studies have revealed that they help prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
Being rich in phytosterols, they have been associated with reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol.
Tonight I am cooking. So far I know we are having purple hull peas, cornbread, butternut "fries", and lord of the onion rings 2.0. Boneless, skinless chicken breast are thawing. Now I need a tasty, simple, and apparently-but-not-really rich recipe for the chicken. Hmmmm. I've used light Italian dressing as a marinade/cooking sauce. ah-ha! I think I remember a bottle of real marinade I bought on a coupon that is still in the cabinet. back in a minute. yes! Mrs. Dash Lemon Herb Peppercorn marinade. ta da! off to assist on the jeep project. later. Luna
Tonight I will be trying a new recipe call Baked Italian Salmon from the Calorie Count website. It's simple, needless to say. EVOO, seasonings, lemon juice, and salmon. Right now I'm wondering what to serve with it. I have a new product to try: Uncle Ben's Whole Grain White Rice. (Let's see if it charms Mr. Brown, who prefers white rice.) The facts aren't bad for this product with 5g of fiber, 5g of protein, 2g of fat(but none of the bad kind), and 200 calories in a 1 cup serving. Then some steamed veggies should sum it up and slap it on the table. See 2 reviews of this meal in tomorrow's blog post. No film at 11. Short one today pals, see you tomorrow. Luna
Susan, As requested recipe follows as found online at allrecipes.com. My comments and revisions follow that.
Power Cookies By: Healthy "These are high fiber, high protein, low in fat and absolutely delicious cookies that make a terrific snack. You won't believe how good they are! Any dried fruit or nuts are recommended as additions to this recipe."
View Prep Time: 15 MinCook Time: 15 MinReady In: 30 Min Original Recipe Yield 18 cookies
Ingredients 4 cups rolled oats 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates 1/2 cup flaked coconut 1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Directions 1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Grind the oats in a blender until resembling coarse flour. 2.In a medium bowl, mash beans to a smooth paste. Stir in the white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until well blended. Combine the ground oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; blend into the bean mixture. Stir in the dates, coconut, raisins and walnuts. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. 3.Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Nutritional Information Amount Per Serving Calories: 147 | Total Fat: 1.9g | Cholesterol: 0mg
I assume that the recipe is missing one ingredient because I had to add liquid to form a dough. I used what I had, which was water (3/4 cup), but next time I will use apple cider or apple sauce. When I got to the fruit and nuts, again I used what I had, which was raisins, dried cherries, and almonds. I don't think changing the fruit and nuts explains the need for liquid. One more change I made: I replaced the white sugar with Kroger Apriva no calorie sweetener, which contains maltodextrin and sucralose. I left the brown sugar in because I think it probably contributes to the taste, not just the sweetness - maybe could use honey or molasses or sorghum, but I don't know how that would affect calories or taste. I baked a dozen cookies in my toaster oven at 325F as suggested. I baked longer, about 20 minutes. Next time I'll add more liquid so the dough will spread out some when baked. Maybe could increase temp to 350F. I put the rest of the dough in a container in the fridge. It should keep for longer than it will last at our house. Since I will use this recipe again, I will rearrange it into the form I prefer and save in my recipe folder in favorites. If you like, I'll email it to you in that format when it is done.
(Steve was unaware that the recipe contains beans. He likes the cookies. He also likes the granola nut clusters, which I think need improvement.) (I wonder if Shaw, being from California, has ever heard of sorghum. Isn't that a Southern thing?)
Okay, rambled long enough. Love and sweet treats, Luna
Okay, yes. I was going to start blogging again on Tuesday, but the habit has left me and I have to start over. But, I'm here now and intend to blog every day!!! It doesn't have to take long, Marsha. Susan, your blog about vitamin D is very interesting. Steve's D tested very low last January and Dr. T recommended daily D capsules. Steve is taking 5,000 units per day. I was surprised about Steve's D being low. He eats dairy products and other good sources, and certainly get lots of sunshine. When I researched online for causes, one I found was related to cancer, so naturally I wanted to talk to Dr. T about that. He said that was not a concern for Steve. (Lack of other signs, etc.) I had read that 15 minutes of sunshine per day is sufficient to get the D you need, but that isn't working for Steve, who gets way more than that. I want to know more about D research being done. Do trans fat and high fructose and hydrogenated oils interfere with the bodies ability to use the D we get? Is anyone trying to find out? Shouldn't someone hire David Jeremy for big bucks to spend time finding out what's what? (Pardon the nepotism.) The cereal thing is SO on target! I quit eating Raisen Bran because I wanted three to six small bowls full. (I like to eat small bowls of crunchy, milky cereal rather than large bowls of mushy cereal.) M and I are eating cereal every day as granola, but your idea sounds yummy. I'll see if I can treat Steve to a bowl without telling him it is good for him. Tuesday I made a first attempt at homemade granola nut clusters. Okay, but not great. Needs work. Last night I tried a recipe for Power Cookies (made with oatmeal and canellini beans!). I think they left out an ingredient though, because I had to add liquid to form a dough. They were tasty and really as "good for you" as the granola, fruit, and nuts we are eating for breakfast, and MUCH better than my clusters. So, once we eat up these batches, I'm going to try again. Also, with the cooler weather and open windows, my urge to bake is on the rise. Came across my recipe for Breakfast Bread yesterday. Thought about how to improve the nutrition of my recipe for pumpkin bread. Carbs, carbs, carbs!!!! Last night's skillet dinner turned out good - pork loin chops with sweet potato, acorn squash, and apple in a pineapple sauce. No leftovers is a good sign of success. That's all for now. Blog on!