IT’S PUMPKIN TIME! Pumpkin season is in full swing and we can’t get enough of it! Carving pumpkins is great and all, but are you adding them into your diet? These 5 hidden health benefits will convince you to incorporate it into your life. Make sure to read to the end to find a healthy and yummy pumpkin recipe that is sure to impress your family and friends!
- Pumpkin may normalize vision.
Who doesn’t want to have sharper vision? Pumpkin can be a big help with vision due to its ample supply of beta-carotene. This powerful carotenoid is converted to vitamin A in the body which is crucial for healthy eyes. Pumpkin makes it easy for people to hit their vitamin A intake because in just one single cup of pumpkin, contains over 200 percent of the daily recommendation for Vitamin A.
- Pumpkin can lead to a stronger immune system.
Autumn means cooler days but also the rise of flu season. If you want to fight off that nasty flu or cold then pumpkin may be your answer. Not only is pumpkin pumped with vitamin A it contains around 20% of the recommended amount of daily vitamin C. These two vitamins are a killer team when it comes to boosting your immune system and helping you recover from your cold faster.
- Pumpkin leads to brighter skin
Pumpkin isn’t only great for your health but can also keep your skin glowing. Carotenoids like beta-carotene have been known to act as a natural sunblock. So, how does it work? After you eat your delicious pumpkin treat, the carotenoids are transported to various organs including your skin. Here, they help protect skin cells against damage from harmful UV rays. The high content of vitamin C in pumpkin is also important for skin. This vitamin is a key player when it comes to making collagen which is a protein that helps keep your skin strong and healthy. Next time you’re in the store and debating whether or not to buy that second pumpkin, do it for your skin!
- Pumpkin is filled with fiber
With the days getting shorter, people are scrambling to find more energy. We are all well aware of those afternoon slumps that can affect your entire day. A great way to fight those slumps is hitting your daily goal of fiber. In the United States, an average person may eat only around 15 g of fiber which is far from the daily recommendation of 25 to 30 g. Luckily, fresh cooked pumpkin has around 3 g of fiber while 7 g in a can. Pumpkin can help you hit your fiber intake, fill you up, stabilize blood sugar, and keep you energized all throughout the day.
- Pumpkin seeds can reduce inflammation
Pumpkin itself is great, but its’ seeds have a multitude of benefits too. Pumpkin seeds are filled with antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E. These antioxidants can potentially help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. The high levels of antioxidants contained in pumpkin seeds may be the reason why many have seen a positive effect on their health.
If you haven’t gone to your local store or pumpkin patch to grab yourself a few of these magical fruits, then what are you waiting for?
Here at NW Injury and Rehab, we are big pumpkin lovers which is why we want to share one of our employee’s favorite pumpkin recipe! This recipe is gluten-free and will surely keep you coming for seconds.
GF PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE
- 1 ½ cups bob’s red mill gluten-free pie crust mix
- 6 tbsp cold vegan butter
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp pumpkin spice
- 4-6 tbsp ice-cold water
- 24 ounces softened cream cheese
- 2 ½ tbsp arrowroot powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 ¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree
- 1 14-ounce full fat can of coconut cream
- 3/4 cup icing/powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350F. In a bowl, mix up your gluten-free pie crust mix, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Slice your cold butter and slowly work it into your mix with a fork or pastry cutter.
- Add in your ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time and stir. Only use as much water as you need to help the crust come together.
- Gently roll out your dough to the size of your pie tray. Place your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the Cheesecake Filling
- In a blender, add in all of your cheesecake filings and mix until well combined.
- Take out your dough from the refrigerator and place it into your pie tray. With your hands, press the crust into the tray.
- Pour the filling into the crust and place it into the oven. Bake the pie for about 50 – 60 minutes. The crust should be golden brown, and the filling will be slightly jiggly.
- Remove the cheesecake and let cool completely. Carefully transfer the pie into the refrigerator and let set for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
For the Coconut Whipped Cream
- Chill your coconut milk overnight. When taking it out of the refrigerator, make sure to not shake it so that the cream and liquid stay separated.
- Open up your can and scoop the hardened cream into a bowl.
- Beat your cream until it’s creamy. Add in your vanilla and powder sugar and mix until it’s smooth with no chunks. Adjust the sweetness based on your liking.
- Take out your pumpkin pie from the refrigerator and pour the coconut whipped cream over it.
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!