Benefits of Pumpkin

Benefits of Pumpkin

The leaves are starting to change color, pumpkins are ready to be carved, and crisp fall air is finally here! October is the perfect time to entertain making pumpkin recipes. Try this new pumpkin recipe to get in the festive, fall mood!


 Pumpkin is considered low calorie and nutrient rich food. They are rich in beta carotene just like your other dark orange vegetables i.e. carrots or butternut squash. Your body changes this antioxidant (beta carotene) to vitamin A. 1 Cup of pumpkin gives you 200% of your daily recommended vitamin A intake. Vitamin A will help keep your eyes healthy and to help them continue to see clearly.


Pumpkin and unsalted pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber. Fiber can help you feel fuller longer, thus decreasing your overall food intake for the day. It has also been shown to benefit your gut health and help lower cholesterol!


Eating pumpkin can also improve your blood pressure! Pumpkin flesh is high in potassium and magnesium. Magnesium is  a mineral that’s essential to hundreds of different body processes, including keeping blood vessels healthy and the heart pumping strong. (Limit pumpkin if your doctor has told you to limit potassium).



ROAST IT: Cut pumpkin into cubes and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg

BLEND IT: Make a healthy smoothie with unsweetened almond milk or soy milk, pumpkin puree, banana, vanilla extract, and ice.

PUREE IT: Roast pumpkin before pureeing it, adding stock or soy milk and seasoning to make a healthy soup

BAKE IT: Add pumpkin puree as a substitute for butter or oil in baked goods.

Spicy Pumpkin Burrito


  1. 1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn

  2. 1 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

  3. 1 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (not pie filling)

  4. 1 cup brown rice, cooked (no added salt and margarine)

  5. 1/4 cup water

  6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  7. 1 teaspoon chile powder (made with ancho chiles preferred)

  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

  9. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  10. 8 8-inch whole-grain tortillas (Ezekiel 4:9 is a good option), look for low sodium options

  11. 1/2 cup sliced green onions

  12. 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

  13. 1/2 cup shredded lettuce

  14. 1/2 cup chopped tomato


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add cooking spray so the ingredients do not stick.

  2. Cook the corn for 4 to 5 minutes, or until slightly browned, stirring occasionally.

  3. Stir in the beans, pumpkin, rice, water, cumin, chile powder, oregano, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until heated through.

  4. Warm the tortillas using the package directions.

  5. Spoon the filling down the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle the green onions over the filling. For each burrito, fold two sides of the tortilla toward the center. Starting from the unfolded side closest to you, roll the burrito toward the remaining unfolded side to enclose the filling. Transfer with the seam side down to plates. Top with the sour cream. Top with the lettuce and tomato and enjoy!


Written by: Zella Pavlov MA, RD/LD

Edited by Macey Leatham RDN

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