Pumpkins not just for Jack-o’-Lanterns
Fall brings leaves changing colors, crisp, cool mornings, a move from sandals to boots, and a transition from casual summer lunches to warm, comfort food meals. Surprisingly, one of the most iconic images of fall is not just meant for your autumn decor to be carved into a Jack-o’-Lantern.
While a pumpkin may not be first thought of as even edible, it is not always be first thought of as even edible, let alone as a healthy food. But it is rich in nutrients and should be considered for its health benefits, including:
- Low in calories. One cup of cooked pumpkin equals just 50 calories.
- High-fiber content. Fiber is linked to lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) blood levels, which is a common inflammatory marker used to access disease activity in rheumatic conditions. The beneficial bacteria in the gut feeds on high-fiber foods, releasing substances to aid in lowering levels of inflammation throughout the body.
- An excellent source of vitamins A and C. Both vitamins help immune cells work more effectively and wounds heal more rapidly.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights molecules that trigger joint inflammation. It serves as a co-factor in collagen synthesis, the main protein in joint tissue and bone, helps fight infection and may work to control inflammation linked to infection, which may trigger arthritis flares.
The nutrients in pumpkin will have you thinking about it more than just in October each year. You will want this Pumpkin and Basil Pasta dish all throughout fall as it will provide the comfort expected of the season.
Pumpkin and Basil Whole Wheat Pasta
- 8-ounce whole wheat fettuccine or linguine
- ½ cup whole basil leaves
- 15-ounce can organic pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup water
- Grated parmesan
- Cook pasta according to instructions on packaging.
- Blend basil leaves until in small pieces.
- Add water, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper to blender. Blend until sauce is at preferred consistency.
- Heat sauce over medium heat until warmed through.
- Add pasta and toss until sauce is evenly distributed.
- Place in a bowl, top with whole fresh basil leaves, sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve.