Pumpkins are for more than lattes and cookies, they’re for pies too. Just kidding (although they are delicious in almost any baked good). Pumpkins have a much larger contribution to our body and health that justify their addition to any type of food. From their skin to their seeds, each part of the pumpkin provides vital nutrients that decrease inflammation, lower glucose levels, provide antioxidants, and help protect against chronic illness.
Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin
β-carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body and is found in high amounts in pumpkins. Vitamin A acts as antioxidant and contributes to eye sight and growth in all ages as small as an embryo. Other provitamin A carotenoids decrease risk of cardiovascular disease by pairing with free radicals that turn into toxins if left floating in the body. Other diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer are protected by phenolic compounds found in seeds of the pumpkins.
These are just some of the many benefits pumpkin provides along with being used in pharmaceuticals that help extract parasites and neutralize pH of the stomach. So, the next time you pick up that pumpkin cookie, think of the wonderful nutrients you are providing for your body. Always remember, moderation with anything is key, so be mindful of the amount consumed. Here is a fantastic, low calorie and high protein cookie recipe you can make with pumpkin puree. Enjoy these for breakfast, a sweet snack, or for dessert!
Low Carb Pumpkin Cookies:
Yield: 24 cookies
2 scoops (~64 g) protein powder (vanilla preferred, isolate bakes best)
¼ cup ground flax seed
1 tbsp chia seed
2 tsp white chocolate pudding mix (sugar free for lower calorie)
½ cup swerve granulated sugar or your choice of zero calorie sweetener like Stevia or splenda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
¼ cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp caramel syrup (I like Torani’s sugar-free syrup)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
*Optional add-ins: 1/3 cup Lily’s Stevia sweetened milk chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick cooking spray, do not use aluminum foil. Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and put 3 tbsp of batter 2-3 inches apart, these cookies will spread so make sure to leave ample room in between each. Bake for around 10 minutes. They will be soft as a pillow when finished but should not fall apart. If they look wet or not sticking together, bake for a little bit longer. Store in the fridge and enjoy! I like to add some whip cream on top or some jelly for extra sweetness!
1.Kaur S, Panghal A, Garg MK, et al. Functional and nutraceutical properties of pumpkin – a review. Nutrition & Food Science. Published online August 28, 2019. doi:10.1108/NFS-05-2019-0143