We have entered onto the lovely season of fall, the temperature and leaves will start to change. It’s definitely one of my favorite seasons. With fall, I love to embrace the different fruits and vegetables that are known for the season. If fact, one in particular that you can’t miss this time of year is pumpkin. It seems like in every grocery store there are pumpkin flavored everything. From crackers to waffles and to ice cream, it seems like the pumpkin flavor has taken over.
Not only does pumpkin offer consumers a delicious flavor, but it also provides extensive health benefits as well. The orange color in the pumpkin is due to the beta-carotene, which is an anti-oxidant that we can convert into Vitamin A. Antioxidants have been known for decreasing cancer risks, decreasing aging, and also helping with preventing heart disease. Vitamin A itself is also known to help with our vision, skin health, and immune function.
Pumpkin is also very high in fiber, with 3 grams of serving of fresh pumpkin and 7 grams a serving in canned pumpkin, which is often a nutrient that Americans do not get enough of. Having adequate fiber can help with satiety, gastrointestinal regulation, help with decreasing cholesterol, and help prevent diseases, such as diabetes.
So this fall enjoy the tastes of the season! Your body will be grateful to you.
Recipe (adapted from http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/10/healthy-delicious-pumpkin-turkey-chili-recipe.html):
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can red kidney beans
2 cups (1 14.5 ounce can) pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste (at least 3 good shakes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
1.Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2.Saute the onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, green chiles, and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Make room in the center of the skillet, add turkey, and brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and cayenne.
3.Reduce heat and simmer at least 20 minutes. Stir in fresh cilantro. If preferred, serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.