Halloween is not just about candy, it is also about Jack -- Jack O’Lantern that is. The tradition of carving a Jack O’Lantern came to America from Ireland. Since Ireland had no pumpkins, on All Hallow’s Eve, Irish Celts carved turnips and put burning coals in them in order to ward off evil spirits.
When you grab your knife for a creative carving, make sure you take full advantage of Jack's healthy insides. The health benefits of pumpkins are numerous. Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber, since it has three grams of fiber per one-cup serving. Pumpkin also only has four calories, so you'll stay full longer on a low number of calories.
The Huffington Post said that pumpkin can help after a hard workout. Its potassium content helps the body to restore its electrolyte balance and to keep muscles at peak efficiency.
Below are some of my favorite original pumpkin recipes:
PUMPKIN ALMOND PIE
2 cups of pumpkin puree
½ cup of stevia powder
½ cup of raw brown sugar
½ tsp. of vanilla
½ tsp. of cinnamon
½ tsp. of nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup of Greek yogurt
½ cup of almond milk
Combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl and fill pie crust.
1 cup of ground almonds, mixed with 2 tbsp. melted butter and raw brown sugar. Press firmly into pie plate.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.
MINI PUMPKIN PROTEIN TIRAMISU
2 tbsp. of almond milk
2 tbsp. of canned pumpkin or pureed pumpkin
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
2 tbsp. of mascarpone cheese
4 tbsp. of light whipped topping
4 tbsp. gluten-free ginger snaps crumbled
1 tsp. of stevia powder
Mix milk, pumpkin, whey, and half the stevia powder. Set aside.
In separate bowl, mix cheese, whipped topping and the other half of the stevia powder. Fill dessert cups with alternating layers of pudding mixture, graham cracker crumbs and cheese mixture.
1 cup milk of choice (almond, coconut, rice, hemp or non-fat)
1 scoop vanilla whey
1 tbsp. of canned pumpkin or pureed pumpkin
Blend in blender until smooth.