Fall is in full swing, meaning we can officially bust out all of the gourds, pine cones, and –you guessed it… Pumpkins!
Not only do these orange and white seasonal favorites signal the arrival of this festive time of year as a decoration, but pumpkins are used in a variety of recipes. (If you’re a Trader Joe’s aficionado, you know very well that pumpkin season is all the rage!)
For carb-conscious folks, however, fall can be a less exciting time; and they can feel as though they cannot participate in all of the pumpkin-spiced jovialities. But that is not necessarily true!
Did you know that of all of the carb-forward veggies and gourds, pumpkin is said to have the least amount of net carbs, sporting roughly 4-12 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of pumpkin?
Pumpkin is also a wonderful source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin A, and B12; and the seeds are known to be high in fiber, to aid heart health, help lower blood sugar, and be a delicious snack that incorporates healthy fats into the diet.
Bottom line, don’t be fooled by “The Great Pumpkin”! You can still be healthy and carb-conscious and enjoy it as a part of a balanced diet.
How to Prepare a Fresh Pumpkin
To cook a pumpkin, remove the stem and split the gourd open with a sharp knife. Remove the pumpkin seeds (save and roast them for a delicious and nutritious treat) and cut the flesh according to how you plan to prepare it. Rinse it well under cold water.
To boil or steam pumpkin, place the chunks in a large pot with a few inches of water in the bottom. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender.
To roast pumpkin, place the two halves on a baking sheet with the skin facing up (flesh facing down). Bake at 350°F for about an hour, or until you can pierce the flesh with a fork and it is tender.
Will you be infusing pumpkin into your seasonal cooking this year?
Resource: Pumpkin Nutrition Facts
Please be sure to consult your primary care physician before incorporating pumpkin or any dietary food or element into your routine that may increase your carbohydrate, and therefore, your sugar intake. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and my team for a consultation.
Dr. Horowitz and Team