If Fall calls and you answer with “pumpkin everything,” then I have a treat for you. I’m sure you’re well aware by now that all the things we love about our beloved pumpkin flavor come Autumn (pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin bread, and cakes and cookies) are all high in fat, high in sugar, high in calories. Boo! (Ha, get what I did there)?! Until now. Did you know that pure canned pumpkin is a low-calorie (only 80 calories per cup), nutrient-dense food that may just curb all your pumpkin cravings without all the guilt?

For years I’ve known about the nutritional benefits that canned pumpkin has the ability to add to your recipes. That’s why I’ve been cooking with it for years. Canned pumpkin is full of:

Fiber: One cup of canned pumpkin provides 7.1 grams of dietary fiber or 28% of your daily value. We love a diet high in fiber because it keeps you fuller longer, keeps you regular, and helps to control your blood sugar levels.

Magnesium: All pumpkin is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is important because it plays a huge role in the physiological functions of the brain, heart, and muscles. Some experts also tout that magnesium helps fight depression and aids in better sleep.

Vitamins: One cup of canned pumpkin supplies 38,129 units of Vitamin A or 762 percent of your daily value. Vitamin A is crucial for supporting visual health, the formation and maintenance of teeth, bones, soft tissue, white blood cells and the immune system.  Canned pumpkin also contains iron (critical for helping your body to make enough healthy, oxygen-carrying red blood cells) and vitamin E (an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage causes by substances called free radicals, which harms cells, tissues, and organs. Lastly, canned pumpkin is full of vitamin C. So, if you feel a cold coming on, treat yourself to some to help boost your immune system and cure what ails you.

Potassium: Canned pumpkin has been known to help control blood pressure because each cup contains 505 milligrams of potassium and only 12 milligrams of sodium—a huge reason why I use canned pumpkin in a ton of my recipes. A high-potassium, low sodium diet has proven to help prevent high blood pressure.

So much goodness packed into one little can of Fall’s favorite flavoring. Canned pumpkin is easy to find, cheap to purchase and so versatile.  Whether you’re looking to add pumpkin flavoring to savory or sweet recipes, the options are endless.  I was recently talking to an old friend of mine about our love of pumpkin when she told me how she enjoys the canned version. She leaves a can in her refrigerator and when she’s looking to curb her sweet tooth, she pulls it out, puts a nice cold scoop of canned pumpkin in a bowl with lots of cinnamon (also super healthy) and a drop of maple syrup. A healthy, delicious, dessert is served! If you read my blog last week then you know that I would sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips on there as well!

Before I leave you with a few of my favorite recipes that contain canned pumpkin, a few things to note. Be sure that you’re purchasing pure canned pumpkin. The can that you purchase should not include any unwanted sugar, sodium or preservatives. A good rule of thumb is to check for signs of “100% pumpkin”. It’s as simple as that.

Check out the recipes below, enjoy a cozy night in with some of your favorite flavors, and add some nutrition into your day where were probably won’t even realize it!  Xx Janine

Turkey, Pumpkin, White Bean Chili: https://www.skinnytaste.com/crockpot-turkey-white-bean-pumpkin/

Spicy Southwest Pumpkin Soup: https://www.aspicyperspective.com/spicy-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse: https://www.doctoroz.com/recipe/chocolate-pumpkin-mousse