Festive pumpkins also offer health benefits

Posted at 7:11 AM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 09:14:30-04

BOISE, Idaho — October is National Pumpkin Month, and if you're heading to the pumpkin patch soon, why not treat it like a trip to the grocery store?

The popular winter squash is typically used for decoration or those popular pumpkin pies, but there are plenty of other ways to use them that are incredibly nutritious.

Molly Tevis, an in-store registered dietitian with Albertsons, says pumpkins are a good way to get vitamins A, K, and C into your daily diet. Pumpkins are also rich in beta carotene and help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome while supporting eye health.

While you typically use pumpkin flesh in recipes, don't forget to save the seeds! Tevis says those can also become a great snack, offering fiber and protein, and can boost the nutrient density of any meal or dessert.

If you're not sold on pumpkin just yet, Tevis says there are a number of other varieties to try, including Mellow Yellow pumpkin, Hubbard, delicata, or kabocha squash. You can also find more at your local Albertsons.

If you do want to jump in the pumpkin craze, Tevis shared this recipe with Idaho News 6 viewers:

Pumpkin Patch Chili

Main Ingredients:
· 1 pound ground turkey
· 1 15-ounce pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
· 1 15-ounce diced tomatoes (including juice)
· 1 cup O Organics® Pure Pumpkin
· 1/2 cup water
· 1 medium onion (diced)
· 1 green pepper (diced)
· 1 jalapeño (diced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat)
· 1 tablespoon chili powder
· 1 tablespoon cumin
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Step 1:
Spray a 5-quart Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers and jalapeño peppers. Sauté 3-4 minutes until soft. Add turkey and brown, about 8 minutes. Season with salt.

Step 2:
Add cumin and chili powder. Stir for 30 seconds. Add pumpkin and stir for an additional minute. Add water and tomatoes, stirring to scrape the bottom bits off of the pan. Add beans, stir to incorporate, and bring to a boil.

Step 3:
Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in small carved out pumpkins for a festive plating.