Pumpkin Power~ seeing beyond the pie.

Pumpkins don’t get much culinary love. Like turkey, pumpkin has its one week in the spot light and then is mostly forgotten for the rest of the year.  I think it’s time to see beyond jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie, and enjoy pumpkin year-round for its delicate taste, beautiful color and impressive nutrients.


Carotene Explosion

The rich orange color of this humble squash tells the whole story.  This color is what imparts the cell protecting antioxidants in the form of beta carotene. Beta carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body, which is a powerful ally for the immune system, protects the eyes and heals the skin.  Pumpkin flesh is also high in minerals like iron and the seeds are rich in zinc.

So how should I use it?

I totally cheat and use canned organic pumpkin and have no guilt about it.

Here are just a few ideas of how to get pumpkin into your diet. There are many recipes on line so I have included only one that I made up this morning. I am pretty excited about it and will be enjoying it all year long.

  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Ice Cream (get an ice cream maker and make healthy treats in no time!)
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Pumpkin Curry
  • Pumpkin Pancakes (mix into batter)
  • Pumpkin Smoothie- see below!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

This creamy orange smoothie is a perfect breakfast, snack or even dessert. It’s completely balanced and will give you sustained energy for hours. Most smoothies can not brag about high Vitamin A, healthy fat and protein.  This is a real winner!

  • 5 soaked dates (remove pits and soak for at least 5 minutes in hot water)
  • 1/2 of 15 oz. can organic pumpkin
  • 4 Tbsp canned coconut milk (stir first and store rest for smoothies, oatmeal, soup, curry)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I use nut or hemp milk)
  • 2 tsp almond butter
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice blend (mine has cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove)
  • sliver of fresh peeled ginger root
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (grade B!)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 5 ice cubes
Blend Well
  • Optional add ins: at end briefly mix in 1 Tbsp hemp seeds (will add a nutty texture) and/or 1 Tbsp shredded coconut (adds fun coconut-y texture).
Yields 2.5 cups. Might as well double it and use that whole can of pumpkin. It stores well in fridge for the next day.


(This recipe and many more like it will be in The Nourish Me book which we are working hard to get to you in 2012!)

Enjoy your orange mustaches!

Erika Siegel ND

This entry was posted in General Nutrition, Latest Health Tips, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Pumpkin Power~ seeing beyond the pie.

  1. traci says:

    Just tried the pumpkin pie smoothie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sooooooo yuuuuummm!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i woke up feeling so sick of every breakfast choice i could think of — i made the kids hole in ones (egg on bread basically) presented on skewers! that’s how deep in food boredom we were.
    then i remembered i bought dates and canned pumpkin yesterday!
    a spark of excitement hit and i was soon busily walking back and forth in my kitchen, measuring, and opening cans, with more than one passing thought of “i don’t know, really? this could go either way.” but i was powered forward by my delight in something new and my deep trust in the creator (Erika, that is).
    i had to make one substitution because the one ingredient i didn’t have from this strange list was …. ICE! i used half a frozen banana and five seconds worth of water from the filter.
    i can’t tell you how much i enjoyed it. rich, smooth, tasty, filling and light at the same time, and i feel like i really fed my body something great and started my day out right. i am so happy!!!!
    thank you for this gift!!!!

  2. Marian Baratz says:

    Erika, we are so proud of you.. Is your product in the stores in our part of the country? You should be proud of yourself. You’ve worked hard to bring this to fruition and I know it’s a good feeling knowing you are helping others. We wish you much success. Love, Aunt Marian and Uncle Paul

    • Hi Marian! Thank you for your support!

      Right now my product is available in various places in Oregon, NYC, upstate NY and Key Largo Florida. I am working on distribution but many things to juggle these days 🙂

      Sending love,

  3. Chris says:

    Omg!! Just made the pumpkin smoothie! Come on! It’s SO delicious!!!
    I cut back the sweetener to 3 dates and 1 Tbs of syrup and it was perfect!!!
    Going to make another one right now I think….what a great way to get some pumpkin in our tummys!

  4. Rachel B says:

    I’m going to make this! I always have organic canned pumpkin in the kitchen because I feed it to Jackson, my standard poodle puppy! Great idea, Erika! <3

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