Autumn’s Beautiful Bounty

Autumn’s Beautiful Bounty

Despite our seemingly endless steamy weather, summer will soon make way for fall. The kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter, and everyone’s front yards and homes will soon be festooned with all those ubiquitous pumpkins, squash, and gourds. Beyond looking festive, does this autumnal produce have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, and here are some excellent reasons to upgrade them from the front porch decor to dinner table delight:

Pumpkins

  • Pumpkin seeds pack about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce
  • Mashed pumpkin has only 50 calories per cup and 3 grams of fiber
  • Better vision
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better sleep
  • Heart healthy

Gourds

  • Rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fibre
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Low in fat and cholesterol content
  • Great thirst quencher

Squash

  • Huge source of vitamin A
  • Significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and folate
  • Contains magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorous,calcium, and iron

 

Not sure how to cook your fall produce? Check out this fabulous, festive recipe, courtesy of Food Network:

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • One 2- to 3-pound butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.