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Pump Up Your Thanksgiving with Healthy Pumpkin Side Dishes

By HERWriter
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Watermelon is to summer and the 4th of July as pumpkin is to autumn and Thanksgiving. The two large-sized foods are common in their often carved and decorative natures. But did you know that both are also low calorie foods in their mostly natural state? So this weekend as you head out to do your Thanksgiving food shopping, grab a pumpkin or two. You can create all of your side dishes plus dessert from this wonderfully versatile food. The trick is to make your own very healthy pumpkin puree. Cut the pumpkin in half and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Let it cool and then scoop out the puree for these fabulous recipes from my Fitness Answer Meal Plan.

Pumpkin Soup
1 onion; chopped
2 tb organic butter; melted
2 cans chicken broth; diluted
2 cups of pumpkin puree; cooked
½ cup of raw brown sugar
½ tsp of vanilla
1/8 tsp ground ginger,
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1 cup of Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, yogurt and all seasonings. Mix together with hand mixture. Chop onion extra fine and mix in bottom of pot with melted butter. Let simmer until savory and almost boiling.

Pumpkin Stuffing
2 cups of diced pumpkin (cooked)
2 cups of chopped Vidalia onions
2 ½ cups of chopped celery
¼ cup of fresh parsley
2 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
3 cups of whole grain bread cubes
2 eggs
½ cup of low sodium chicken broth

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add in the onions, celery, parsley and fresh garlic and sauté until tender. In a separate bowl place bread cubes in with cooked vegetables. Add in eggs, pumpkin and chicken broth and mix well. Place in casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degress.

Pumpkin Pecan 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.

Pie Crust
1 Cup of ground pecans, mixed with 2 tbsp. butter and raw brown sugar
Press firmly into pie plate

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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