with all the halloween hoopla , this orange-hued super food hits the spotlight this time of year, but nutrient-packed pumpkin might be something you want to gobble year round. not only is canned pure pumpkin the sneakiest way to fit in an extra serving of veggies, but it packs in health benefits out the wazoo.
not to be confused with its evil sugar-packed cousin, “pumpkin pie mix” sold eerily nearby, ½ cup of canned pure pumpkin:
- has only 40 calories but touts a whoppin’ 5g fiber, making it a powerhouse source to get a big fiber bang for your calorie buck.
- contains 3 times your recommended intake for vitamin a and a good source of potassium and vitamins c, e + k.
- touts alpha and beta-carotene, which are carotenoids that are known to reduce risk of cancer, lower rates of heart disease and keep your eyeballs healthy as you age.
obsessed with pumpkin? beware: eating too much of these gorgeous gourds can tint your skin with an orange-ish hue, which quite closely resembles a bodybuilding competition tan gone bad. but do not fear, carotenemia is just the result of excess beta-carotene in your system and isn’t toxic, unless of course orange isn’t your color.
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plans to carve a jack-o-lantern this halloween? don’t toss the high-protein, magnesium-packed seeds that are low in calories. simply spread on a foiled-lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with your seasoning of choice, then roast at 160 degrees for 20 minutes. go sweet with cinnamon + stevia or savory with sea-salt + pepper!
now that we’ve revealed all the scientific stats, tips + tricks, one fact remains that is perhaps the most important: it’s yummy. here are my top 5 go-to recipes that showcases pumpkin from morning (pumpkin protein pancakes, perhaps?) 'til night (pumpkin-turkey chili) and treats in-between.
protein pumpkin pancakes
• 3 egg whites • 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 whole egg • 1 tsp cinnamon
• ½ c rolled oats • 2 tbsp real maple syrup
• ½ c canned pumpkin • 1 tbsp walnuts (optional)
- mix first 6 ingredients in blender until smooth
- spray skillet with non-stick olive oil spray and bring to medium-high heat
- pour pancake mixture onto the pan, and wait for bubbles to come through and the edges to brown
- flip and cook the other side until golden brown
- top with walnuts and real maple syrup – enjoy!
recipe serves 1 – 422 cals, 12g fat, 51g carbs, 18g sugar, 24g protein
pre-workout pumpkin spice bars
• 2 eggs • ½ t baking soda
• 1 tbsp honey • ½ t cinnamon
• 1 c canned pumpkin • ½ t pumpkin pie spice
• 1.5 c vanilla protein powder • ¼ t salt
- whisk together the eggs, honey, and pumpkin
- stir in the dry ingredients pour into a prepared 8″x8″ baking pan
- bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes
- optional: cut + store in snack-sized baggies and pop in the freezer so they’re ready to grab and go!
recipe serves 8
nutrients per serving – 98 cals, 0g fat, 7g carbs, 2g sugar, 2.6g fiber, 16.6g protein
post-workout pumpkin protein shake
• 1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk • 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 scoop vanilla protein powder • dash of pumpkin spice
• 1/3 c pure pumpkin • 4-5 ice cubes (if desired)
place all ingredients in your blender and blend!
recipe serves 1 – 175 cals, 5g fat, 16g carbs, 4g sugar, 6g fiber, 18g protein
gramma’s [healthy] punkin’ pie
• 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin • ¾ tsp salt
• 1 c stevia baking blend • 1 ¼ c egg substitute
• 1 tsp cinnamon • 1 can (12 ounces) non-fat evaporated milk
• ½ tsp ginger • 2 frozen 9″ whole wheat pie crusts
• pinch of all-spice
- mix all ingredients in blender until smooth (except crusts!)
- pour ½ of pie filling into each pie crust
- bake at 425°F for 15 minutes
- reduce to 350°F and bake 45 minutes
- let cool – then serve with a dollop of real whipping cream!
recipe serves 16
nutrients per serving – 210 cals, 8g fat, 16g sugar, 6g protein
share your fave pumpkin recipe below – and click here to download these + more fastfitfood recipes! did you already learn to demystify the nutrition label with trick #1? stay tuned tomorrow for trick #3 that will reveal how to lose 3x the fat in half the time!
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