Fresh pumpkin contains vitamins A, C, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, zero cholesterol and just a little sodium, among other benefits. This makes it a perfect autumn-winter addition to a Weight Watchers agenda. To enjoy some of the following recipes, you need to make your own pumpkin puree. Here is how:
Select a medium size bruise-free pumpkin with a nice orange color. Rinse it, and cut it into large halves with a serrated knife. Scoop out the seeds. (You can rinse the seeds to roast them later). Place the pumpkin halves in a baking pan with two inches of water, and bake for 45 minutes at 450ºFahrenheit. If you prefer to microwave, cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces, and place them in a covered microwave resistant pan with two inches of water. Cook it for 15 minutes or until it’s tender throughout. You can also use a large steamer on the e stovetop, but make sure to drain all the water before pureeing.
Any of the previous methods should accomplish a soft, manageable pumpkin flesh. Use a hand blender, food processor or regular blender to puree.
- Pumpkin Dip. Mix one cup of pumpkin puree, 2 minced garlic cloves, one tsp. of olive oil, ½ cup of chopped fresh cilantro, the juice of a fresh lime, a drizzle of light soy sauce, and one tsp. of dry oregano. Then add one tsp. of light butter, a large chopped onion, 2 stalks of fresh celery, and 3 fresh grated carrots until tender. Add 3 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, three cloves of minced garlic, two tbsp. of dried thyme, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stir once in a while. Add one pt of skimmed, evaporated milk (12 oz.) or soymilk, and simmer again. This serves six.
- Pumpkin Soup. In a large saucepan, sauté together one tsp of light butter, a large chopped onion, 2 stalks of fresh celery, and 3 fresh grated carrots until tender. Add 3 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, three cloves of minced garlic, two tbsp. of dried thyme, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stir once in a while. Add one pt of skimmed, evaporated milk (12 oz.) or soymilk, and simmer again. This serves six.
- Coconut Based Pumpkin Soup. Pour one can of coconut milk (14 oz.) into a deep pan over medium heat; add one cup of pumpkin puree, 3 tsp. of butter, one tbsp of shredded fresh ginger, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and stir well. Add one or two cups of low-fat vegetable stock or water (one at a time) until the desired thickness. Add more ginger, if desired. You can use a thicker version of this creamy sauce and pour it over cooked noodles.
- Pumpkin smoothie. Blend together ½ cup of pumpkin puree, ½ of a ripe banana, ¾ cup of evaporated skim milk, 2 tbsp. of honey, one tbsp. of liquid vanilla, one tbsp. of pie spice, and ½ cup of ice cubes. A healthy treat with a wintery flavor.
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread. Combine 8 oz. of low fat cream cheese, ½ cup of pumpkin puree, 1 tbsp. of liquid vanilla, 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice and a dash of cinnamon. Spread on bread or bagels for breakfast.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
15 Shirts Women Simply Can’t Resist—and Why
From Ts to button-downs and beyond, these must-haves will get her everlovin’ attention.
As Boogie Nights Turns 20, Here’s What You Didn’t Kno...
Fun facts about Paul Thomas Anderson, Dirk Diggler, Rollergirl and more.
19 Men’s Grooming Gaffes That Totally Turn Women Off
And what to do about them.