Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!

18 10 2013
Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

Nothing says fall like a hay ride on a pumpkin farm. My brother has actually taken his girls to one where you can get all the pumpkins you can carry for one low price. Needless to say, they have an amazing time carving jack-o-lanterns for Halloween! But besides being great decorations for Halloween, pumpkins are also a nutritional powerhouse providing us with an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber. Pumpkin is a versatile ingredient with a mild flavor and smooth texture. It has a wonderful aroma and is readily available in any market. You can select pureed pumpkin in canned form (always look for 100% pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which has a lot of added sugar-about 11 teaspoons per cup- as well as other flavorings), or you can choose your own pumpkin to cook (always choose a small “pie” or “sweet” pumpkin as their flesh is sweeter and less stringy). Preparing your own pumpkin to puree is easier than you think, and a bonus to choosing a fresh pumpkin is saving the seeds and roasting them for snack time.

Pumpkin can be delicious served as a vegetable side dish by mashing like you would sweet potatoes with a little butter, skim milk and brown sugar. You can cook pumpkin into smooth creamed soups or hearty chili for great flavor and color. My favorite of course is to add it to oatmeal, muffins, and breads along with fall spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. I hope you enjoy our recipe of the week, Bran Flake Pumpkin Muffins….they go great with your morning coffee or tea!

Bran Flake Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 12 muffins            Prep time: 10 min            Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients:

3/4c whole wheat flour

3/4c all purpose flour

1/2c sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

2c  bran flakes cereal

1c 100% pure pumpkin puree

2/3c skim milk

1 egg

1/4c vegetable oil

1/2c raisins

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.

Combine bran flakes, pumpkin and milk. Let stand 2 min. Add egg and oil. Beat well. Add raisins.

Mix in flour mixture just until combined.

Portion into muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

Bake 20 minutes until browned

Nutrition Facts per muffin: 180 calories, 5g fat, 2g fiber, 3g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 160mg sodium

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