Pumpkin – A Super Food!

Think of the word pumpkin, and images of jack-o-lanterns and whipped cream-covered Thanksgiving pies will probably pop into your mind.

Pumpkin is traditionally considered a holiday food and is a staple in our kitchen pantries and freezers during that festive time of the year. However, did you know that pumpkin is now heralded as one of the ‘Super Foods?’ 

According to Dr. Steven Pratt, author of SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, “Well, pumpkin is one of the most nutritionally valuable foods known to man. Moreover, it’s inexpensive, available year-round in canned form, straightforward to incorporate into recipes, high in fiber, low in calories, and packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients.”

What exactly makes pumpkin so super? The powerful antioxidants known as carotenoids give this food its super status. Carotenoids can ward off the risk of cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Dr. Pratt mentions many other disease-fighting superfoods in his book, but we are most interested in pumpkins because of their year-round availability and ease of use in canned form. 

How can we add this wonder food to our diets throughout the year? Take advantage of the benefits and great taste of pumpkin with the following delicious Pumpkin Recipes.

Any day Pumpkin Pancakes 

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp. soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin

Measure flour into a bowl and add dry ingredients. Stir in buttermilk and add pumpkin. Mix Well. Cook on a hot griddle or skillet until golden brown. 

Pumpkin Spiced Muffins

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin 
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream butter with brown sugar. Beat in eggs, then mix pumpkin and milk. Mix flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl. Add to the creamed mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.