Tis the season for Pumpkins!

Pumpkins, more than just for decoration.

Carved pumpkins illuminated by candles set the scene for trick or treats while delicious pumpkin pies are set on the table for our Thanksgiving festivities.  Did you know that pumpkins have a lot of great nutrition in them and can be used for more than pies and carvings?

It’s orange colour contains valuable beta carotene, which we convert to vitamin A, an important nutrient for good eyesight and a healthy immune system.  It is mostly a carbohydrate, containing vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and calcium.  It is sweet and slightly bitter in taste which helps to relieve conditions such as oedema and mucus in the lungs, according to traditional Chinese Medicine. Use it to make soup or slow cook with other root vegetables in your favourite stew.

It’s seeds are high in Zinc and can be sprouted or dried and seasoned for a yummy snack. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin/chocolate brownies or pumpkin brittle are a few ways to enjoy its versatility, but always in moderation. When you are done with your pumpkin shell simply put it in the garden and it will break down and compost over the winter.

Cindy Willems, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Marbled Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownie

 

 

Marbled Brownie

Marbled Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownie ingredients

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 organic egg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon real vanilla

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (or Almond, quinoa, brown rice flour)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or Almond, quinoa, brown rice flour)

3/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup butter, cut up

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 organic eggs (whip egg whites and fold into batter)

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons real vanilla

3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

 

directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper extending over the edges of the pan.

2. In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and the 1 tablespoon butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in 1 egg, the pumpkin, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the cinnamon, and ginger until combined. Stir in the 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl stir together the 1-1/4 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt; set aside.

4. In a large saucepan combine the chocolate and 3/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Gradually add the 2-1/4 cups sugar, beating with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Add the 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk and the 2 teaspoons vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture just until combined.

5. Spread chocolate mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture in several mounds on top of the chocolate batter. Using a narrow metal spatula, gently swirl the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate batter. If desired, sprinkle with walnuts.

6. Bake about 60 minutes or until center is just set when pan is gently shaken. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use parchment to lift uncut brownies out of pan. Cut into brownies.