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Pumpkin Health Benefits: Reasons to Enjoy More of This Seasonal Delight

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health benefits‘Tis the season of the pumpkin! From pumpkin spiced lattes to pumpkin flavored Oreos, it’s clear that we are obsessed with these round, orange gourds. We’ve even incorporated them into our Thanksgiving traditions! I mean, what is Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie, right? But, these berries (yes, you read that right. Pumpkins are technically berries) are so much more than a delicious flavor for our coffee. They have some amazing health benefits! Here are some important things you should know.

Pumpkins are high in carotenoids which can help to prevent cancer and heart disease. In fact, a fresh scoop of pumpkin has more carotenoids than their supplement counterparts. They are also high in beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body and can protect your eyesight better than carrots. And everyone knows Vitamin C is great for your immune system and may help to stave off that winter cold. So, you can skip your morning orange juice and try our gourd friend! Pumpkins and other winter squash are usually high in fiber and will help to maintain a healthy gut and pumpkin seeds, like other nuts and seeds, are high in unsaturated fatty acids and protein. They are a great snack food that can help you feel full and focused until your next meal.

Sounds like pumpkins shouldn’t just be for carving, right? As much as we like the idea, we can’t eat pumpkin pie every day. Think of all the sugar! So, we’ve found an incredible recipe that’s sure to delight even the pickiest of eaters, and adds a little of the orange stuff to your table. Try it out! Who knows? Maybe it’ll inspire you to include pumpkins into every meal. With health benefits like this, I know I will!




Pumpkin Crusted Grouper



Ingredients



  • 8 oz. pumpkin, shredded

  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, whole leaf, about 3 sprigs

  • 1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely minced

  • ½ cup bread crumbs

  • 2 oz. flour

  • 3 eggs, whisked

  • 2- 6 oz. pieces of grouper, skin removed

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions


Combine the pumpkin, thyme, tarragon, ginger and bread crumbs and toss together until well combined. Set aside.

Dust one side of the grouper with flour, salt and pepper. Dip the floured side of the grouper in the egg wash and place grouper egg side down in the pumpkin crust mixture.

Preheat oven to 435 degrees.

In a medium sauté pan, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and heat over medium heat. Place grouper fillets pumpkin crust side down in the pan and cook about 3-4 minutes or until the pumpkin crust caramelizes. Flip grouper and place in the oven for seven minutes or until the grouper is done.

Tip: With this dish and other proteins that are cooked in a sauté pan, move the pan back and forth slightly over the range eye while cooking. This will reduce the chance of the protein sticking to the bottom of the pan.