Pumpkin is so nutritious, it shouldn’t be reserved just for pumpkin pie. Our Health-e-Recipe for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is a delicious way to sneak more pumpkin into an everyday dish.
Teeming with beta-carotene, which turns to vitamin A in our bodies, pumpkin and other orange winter squash varieties (think butternut and acorn) also provide cancer-preventive fiber. They can be added to soups, stews and other vegetable dishes.
In this recipe, unsweetened pumpkin purée is added to whole-wheat pasta with Parmesan and cheddar cheeses and mustard powder to create a healthy entree. It even provides a hefty 17 grams of fiber per serving. Serve it with a green veggie like lightly steamed broccoli, which researchers pointed out last week at our annual conference retains its cancer-fighting compounds best when steamed for 3-4 minutes.
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Seeds are a healthy plant food. Our Health-e-Recipe for Sweet-Hot Pumpkin Seeds with Autumn Spices turns them into a delicious snack.
Like nuts, seeds contain fiber and healthy fats. They can be used for a garnish, as a crunchy coating for fish and poultry or in baked goods like muffins. Each type of seed has fiber and phytochemicals that provide health protection. For example, flaxseed is being studied for possible breast cancer prevention because of its omega-3 fats.
In this recipe, pumpkin seeds are a healthy treat that provide minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc. During harvest season, some folks like to take them right from the pumpkin, clean them and toast them in their shells. But you can find the tasty kernels already packaged (sometimes labeled “pepitas”).
This recipe mixes pumpkin seeds with anti-inflammatory spices ginger and paprika, along with cinnamon, cloves and a little brown sugar. The spices make a small amount satisfying, so you can eat this healthy snack without going overboard with calories. You could even pre-package individual servings in resealable plastic snack bags.
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Sweet, spicy and savory flavors team up in this week’s Health-e-Recipe for Sesame Salmon.
Salmon ranks high among fish with the most omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats found to be heart healthy. Omega-3s are also being studied for their potential to prevent breast cancer, making this recipe timely for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Albacore tuna, sardines and trout also have plenty of omega-3s, as do walnuts and leafy greens.
Wild-caught Pacific salmon is a good choice and rated on seafood watch lists to be among the least likely to contain toxins from pollutants. In this recipe, we add fresh ginger and garlic – both rich in anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Sesame seeds, too, contain healthy monounsaturated fats.
Good pairings for this delicious entrée are carrots sliced into match-stick pieces and steamed snow peas or spinach.
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