When September rolls around, everything goes pumpkin. Which is great, because pumpkin is so good for us!! It’s a super rich source of vitamin A – in fact one cup mashed contains 245% of our daily recommended intake! The vitamin A is delivered to us in the form of various carotenoids including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin (which our body then converts into vitamin A). Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant which is vital to keeping our immune system functioning and strong. It also plays a role in preventing oxidative damage and reducing inflammation (helps us to recover from runs faster and prevent injury).
If you are keen to roast and mash your own pumpkin, fresh is always best. Of course the alternative is canned pumpkin. If you’re using canned, please beware of the fact most cans are still lined with BPA (Bisphenol A), a synthetic compound that has been shown to be a hormonal disruptor, causing breast and prostate cancer, as well as ADHD. However, there are two brands that are BPA free: Farmer’s Market organic pumpkin and Trader Joe’s canned pumpkin.
There’s so many delicious ways to use pumpkin, but muffins and cookies are still two of my favourites – try these pumpkin hemp muffins for a healthy treat!
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs, beaten (or 1 Tbsp chia seeds whisked with 3 Tbsp almond milk and allowed to sit until gelled)
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups ground oat flour (ground rolled oats) OR 1 cup oat flour + 1 cup instant rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with 12 muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, maple syrup, honey, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and fold in hemp hearts and chocolate chips.
- Divide batter between 12 muffin cups or 30 mini muffins.
- Bake 30 minutes for full size muffins or 16 minutes for mini muffins (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
Makes 12 full size or 30 mini muffins.
Eat clean, run strong, be well… Cheers,
Sarah J Cuff, RHN