Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone, and so has Halloween, but it is still autumn and that means it is still pumpkin season! American thanksgiving is just around the corner, so for all of my American friends, I know you will be baking up your pumpkin pies in two short weeks. In the mean time, go on and enjoy the amazing flavor and health benefits of this incredibly versatile fruit.
I don't think many people really know all that much about pumpkins. They appreciate their charm when piled high in front of the super markets come late September, they appreciate how much fun they are for kids to carve and that of course they make one very popular and heavenly tasting desert; pumpkin pie. But what many people don't realize is that pumpkins are a superfood! One cup of canned pumpkin has 7 grahams of fiber and 3 grahams of protein, contains only 80 calories and 1 graham of fat. The bright orange colour of a pumpkin is a tell tale sign that it contains a high amount of beta-carotene, like carrots. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body. This is excellent for immune boosting and fantastic for eye health.
That same one cup serving also contains 50% of your daily requirement of vitamin K, known for reducing many different types of cancers.
Combining the healthfulness of pumpkin with a super-food like chia seed and you have yourself one very nutrient dense meal., Chia seeds are jam packed with protein (4 grams per 1 ounce of seeds), 42% of your daily fiber and 18% of you recommended calcium in that same one ounce serving.
Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding
½ cup of pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
3 tbsp. of chia seeds
1 cup of almond milk
2 tsp. of maple syrup
1 tsp. of vanilla
¼ tsp. of powdered ginger
¼ tsp. of ground nutmeg
1 tsp. of cinnamon
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients into the pumpkin puree. Make sure the puree, the seeds and the almond milk all come together thoroughly with no clumping. Once combined, let the mixture stand for 5 minutes and give it a good stir. You will already notice that it is beginning to thicken. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or over-night. The longer it stands, the thicker and richer the pudding will become. I like to make this after my son goes to bed, once breakfast comes around the next day I just have to pull it out of the fridge and serve. You can also pack each serving into a small mason jar, this makes for a perfect breakfast on the go or to pack as a desert or mid-day snack both for children and adults alike. This recipe yields 2-3 servings and lasts, refrigerated, for 2-3 days.