Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Treats!

Since I've been reading up on anti-inflammatory foods, I've been trying to add more of them to my diet. Some things are easy, like reducing/eliminating sugar and moving to Stevia or agave nectar. In other cases, you have to get a bit more creative. Being that Halloween just ended, I figured I'd write a little bit about the wonderful pumpkin and how I use it for more than just desserts.

First of all, pumpkins are jam packed with lots of good nutrients, so it will be hard to list them all and why we should all be eating more pumpkin. The orange color comes from an abundance of carotenoids, which help to neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals wreak havoc in the body actually, and they can cause damage to regular healthy cells. Pumpkins have lots of iron, zinc, and fiber as well. I've decided to try using pumpkin year round since it has such great health benefits.

Today I'm going to be making a pumpkin chili. Sounds kind of odd, but I've done it before and it's yummy! The pumpkin tends to thicken the chili so it feels much heartier. Here's the plan:

2 cans Rotel tomatoes (I like the spice!)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 pound ground turkey breast
chopped carrots (makes a nice crunch)
chopped celery (also great for crunch)
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
chili powder to taste
cumin to taste

If you couldn't tell, I don't use recipes. I just use ingredients I like and figure out how to make it work. I have a feeling I'll need some veggie broth to thin out the chili a little. I could also add some tomato sauce if I want some more tomato flavor. If I had onions, I'd be throwing those in as well, but I am unfortunately all out. In any case, the key is using pumpkin for more than just pie! There's tons of recipes out there on the internet for pumpkin chili. Try it out!


  1. "anti-inflammatory foods" ...

    I have Type 2 diabetes, and for me, carbohydrates -- all kinds of carbs -- seem to be a big problem, causing high blood sugar, and even chest discomfort and rapid heartbeat.. I avoid carbs as much as possible.

  2. This sounds yummy! I have a some pumpkin leftover from a pumpkin protein ice cream I made and this would be perfect! Thanks!