This time of year, the coast is colorfully speckled with this fabulous orange squash. Families are often seen picking out pumpkins in big patches by the side of the road. They grace front porches with beautiful color. Although pumpkins make lovely fall decorations, they make even better table fare. I wonder how many people fail to eat their lovely purchases as October comes to a close. After all, pumpkins are delicious baked, steamed, mashed, or in baked goods. They stand up well to spices, sauces, and soups. They can be served sweet, salty, or savory, so there is a flavor for everyone. Not only are pumpkins versatile, they are nutritious, a good source of fiber; vitamins A, B6 C, and E; thiamin; niacin; folate; iron; magnesium; phosphorus; riboflavin, potassium; copper; and manganese. Filled with the antioxidant beta-carotene, pumpkin may even protect the body from such diseases as cancer and heart disease. For calories spent, pumpkin packs in a lot of nutrition. A one-cup serving of mashed pumpkin is only 49 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrate. So why wait until Thanksgiving pie to enjoy a little pumpkin this season? Enjoy some tonight. Here’s to your health!
Dr. Cynthia Luce, DC
Rockaway Beach, Pacifica
Spiced Baked Pumpkin
Cleaned pumpkin, sliced to quarter inch thickness
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon organic brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange the pumpkin single layer on cookie sheet. Mix the brown sugar and salt into the melted butter. With a brush, brush the tops of the pumpkin with the butter mixture. Sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg over the top. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes until soft. Enjoy hot as a side dish or cold on a salad.