We’re in the heart of Autumn and pumpkins are everywhere. This seasonal plump fruit is tasty and not just for pies; it can be incorporated into so many recipes. I think every fast food place has a pumpkin item that makes you feel all cozy. There’s pumpkin latte’s, coffee, butter, bagels, pies, pancakes, tarts, muffins, donuts, ice cream, milkshakes, caramel corn and the list is endless. Clearly, there are a plethora of yummy treats to satisfy our pumpkin fetish, but a lot of these are not healthy or beneficial for our bodies.
Real pumpkin has a lot of health benefits that you may not know about. There are tons of healthy recipes where you can incorporate pumpkin and benefit from its nutritional value. This bright orange ribbed globe is filled with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can help protect our bodies from cancer and other chronic diseases. A cup of pumpkin contains twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is critical for healthy skin, clear vision and optimal brain function. Pumpkins also provide lots of riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese. Smaller but significant amounts of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus also are present.
Pumpkin seeds offer about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while the cooked pulp has 3 grams of fiber and 50 calories. Fiber is so good for your body, it makes you feel full so you eat less, lowers cholesterol, keeps blood sugars from rising quickly, relieves constipation, improves skin health, lowering heart disease and can prevent all sorts of health conditions.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you sleepy. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping your body create serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you get into that zen space.
Pumpkin seed oil is a healthy unsaturated fat that will reduce inflammation in your body. It’s also brimming with phytoestrogens which are good for preventing hypertension. The zinc present is beneficial for maintaining healthy prostate function, urinary tract disorders and as a hair loss remedy because of it’s hormone balancing influence. The Cucurbita maxima compound found in pumpkin seed oil improves memory, while its tryptophan can assist with social anxiety disorders. Pumpkin seed oil is also great for both types of Diabetes due to its low glycemic load.
- 1 cup organic flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine wet ingredients in a bowl
- Whisk in dry ingredients carefully to avoid clumping
- Heat greased pan over medium heat
- Pour approximately 1/3 cups of batter per pancake until pan is full
- Cook until bubbles form on top of batter and begin to pop, flip and repeat cooking
- Serve warm with maple syrup