Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! Pumpkin season is officially upon us, and you’ll see pumpkin patches, activities, and spiced treats around every corner.
In fact, if you visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County during the months of September and October, you’ll see Jack O’ Lanterns carved and illuminated in beautiful displays. The Hallowed Harvest Festival promises to be a fun, fall family event. For more information and tickets visit cceniagaracounty.org.
For pumpkin goodness you can taste, SNAP-Ed is here to help.
Pumpkins are eaten as vegetables. One cup of pumpkin puree counts as one serving of vegetables, helping adults get to their goal of three to four servings of vegetables each day. Pumpkins are full of fiber, vitamin A and potassium.
You can choose to roast and puree your own pumpkin but it’s often much easier and cheaper to buy canned pureed pumpkin. Plus, canned pumpkin can last on your pantry shelf for a longer time, meaning you can enjoy pumpkin flavors until next fall!
Just be sure to read the label and buy pureed pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Canned pumpkin pie filling will have added sugars and spices.
You can add pumpkin puree to yogurt, pudding, smoothies, stews, macaroni and cheese, and even pancakes.
Pumpkin pancakes from scratch are a healthy, tasty way to enjoy this seasonal flavor. Try topping them with raisins, walnuts, applesauce, or a small amount of maple syrup. The following recipe comes directly from the SNAPEDNY.org website, courtesy of Food Hero.
1/2-cup canned pumpkin puree
1-3/4 cups nonfat or 1% milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons raisins (optional, to make faces)
Combine eggs, pumpkin, milk and oil in large mixing bowl.
Add flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt to egg mixture. Stir gently.
Lightly spray a large skillet or griddle with non-stick cooking spray or lightly wipe with oil. Heat skillet or griddle over medium-high heat (300 degrees in an electric skillet). Using a 1/4-cup measure, pour batter on hot griddle.
Put a face on the pancake, using raisins for eyes and teeth. Drop raisins in batter while it cooks.
Pancakes are ready to turn when tops are bubbly all over and the edges begin to appear dry. Use a quick flip with a broad spatula to turn pancakes. Turn only once. Continue to bake until bottoms are brown and dry.
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Serving size, 2 pancakes: 200 calories, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 510mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g added sugars, 6g protein.
• • •
If you’re interested in learning more about healthy cooking that saves you money, check out the Extension on Facebook @cceniagaracounty or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.SNAPEDNY.org for more tips and tricks and to find virtual classes.
SNAP-Ed is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. To find out more, call 1-800-352-8401.
Justine Hays, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., is the senior SNAP-Ed nutritionist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County.