Pumpkins can keep you healthy this fall | NevadaAppeal.com

Pumpkins can keep you healthy this fall

Maureen Lamerdin, O.M.D.
Colorful autumn still life with a yellow bowl overflowing with pumpkin seeds
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

The transition from fall to winter is upon us and with it brings Halloween, an exciting and spooky holiday for the young and with it a whole lot of sugar. The pumpkin patches are thriving this time of year, kids making sure they pick the perfect one to decorate and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, a time for giving thanks to all who make a difference around us and giving to people who are in need. Why not give a gift of health to your loved ones with some delicious and healthy pumpkin recipes!

In Chinese Medicine, the fall is linked to the lungs and large intestine. It’s a time of being inspired and also of letting go. Many of us tend to feel a bit “thin skinned” or physically and emotionally sensitive at this time.

Our lungs may feel more delicate or sensitive with the dry air and the allergens blowing about. This can create a breeding ground for infections with the production and accumulation of mucous that irritates our respiratory system. According to Paul Pitchford of Healing with Whole Foods, pumpkin can dry excess fluids, helping to resolve phlegm from the lungs, which is a common part of the problem in asthma, allergies, bronchitis and sinus infections.

Pumpkin seeds are excellent for moistening the bowels relieving constipation and for resolving dry skin issues including eczema. Pumpkin seeds are also good for reducing inflammation in conditions like prostatitis and arthritis because they are high in antioxidants.

Here are some recipes to help the healing process and prevent becoming sick so you may fully enjoy your holiday weekend.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

You will need raw pumpkin seeds, sea salt and olive oil or butter. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Clean and dry pumpkin seeds. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or olive oil and sea salt. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

You will need 1 cup greek yogurt

3/4-cup canned pumpkin, chilled

1/2-cup ice cube

1⁄3-cup almond milk

1 chai tea bag

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/2-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄8-teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen or 4 dates,

dash of ground cloves

dash of ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons of roasted pumpkin seeds, ground.

Warm the milk, steep the tea bag for 5 minutes and add honey (can be made in advance and left in the fridge). Add all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Easy Pumpkin Pie with Spiced Whipped Cream

Pie crust: 1 frozen 9 inch deep-dish pie crust, thawed, pierced all over with fork

Pie filling:

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/4-cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons, ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoons ground allspice

2 large eggs

Whipped Topping:

3/4 cup chilled whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Reshape crust edge to form high standing rim. Bake crust until browned, pressing bottom and sides of crust occasionally with back of fork, about 14 min. Cool crust on rack.

Reduce oven temp to 350 degree F.

Whisk pumpkin, condensed milk, sour cream, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, vanilla, and allspice in large bowl to blend.

Whisk in eggs.

Pour into crust (some filling may be left over).

Bake pie until filling is puffed around sides and set in center, about 55 min.

Cool pie on rack.

Beat whipping cream, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger in bowl until peaks form.

Spoon large dollops around edge of pie and serve.