Healthy Snack: Sweet Roasted Pumpkin

Come September every year, pumpkin recipes are everywhere! Pumpkin latte’s, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin cake, muffins and cookies, pumpkin hummus, pumpkin stew.  You name it and I bet you can find a recipe for it.  It’s EVERYWHERE for 4 months, and then seems to disappear again.  Well, it’s February and I’m bringing it back in a very simple & healthy way.  Roasted.  As I mentioned in my Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies post, I’m looking for some healthy treats to satisfy my sweet tooth.  This works, and it really couldn’t be any easier.  Ready for it?

Sweet Roasted Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (which is just Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg & Allspice, already mixed together)

Directions:

  1. Cut pumpkin in half.  Clean out the seeds and stringy flesh (keep the seeds! bonus below!)
  2. Carefully remove the skin of the pumpkin with a knife.
  3. Slice into pieces about 1/4 inch thick and scatter onto a baking tray.
  4. Drizzle the pieces with olive oil and then the sugar/honey and the Pumpkin Pie Spice
  5. Bake for 25 minutes at 185 C (365 F).
  6. ENJOY!

Now – just for some extra information and incentive to give this a try, I think it’s only fair to share the health & nutrition benefits of pumpkin.  All of this was found on nutrition websites, so Google away if you want to verify it yourself!

  1. Seriously low calorie.  100g of pumpkin = 26 calories.  WIN for anyone trying to watch what they eat.
  2. High dietary fiber.  Helps to maintain healthy weight, lower risk for heart disease & diabetes and helps prevent & relieve constipation.
  3. Seriously high in Vitamins, Antioxidants and Minerals. Pumpkin has one of the highest levels of Vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin & mucus membranes, good eyesight and can also help the body protect against lung & oral cancer.  Vitamin B and E are also prevalent in pumpkin. Minerals? Copper, calcium and potassium all exist in pumpkin.

So the pumpkin seed bonus?  Just clean the stringy flesh off, put the seeds onto a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and bake at 185 C (365 F) for 10-15 minutes.  These are a seriously addictive, salty snack and you’ll be happy you kept them!  Those babies are also seriously high in dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, essential for heart health. They also are high in protein, iron and zinc and have no cholesterol. Snack on!

Try this delicious (EASY) recipe to kick start integrating more pumpkin into your diet year round.  The health benefits are worth it & your stomach will thank you! 😉

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