Pumpkin in March?

The Great Pumpkin!  I remember it well; along with Charlie Brown
I do not typically think about eating pumpkin in March, but as I look out my office window at all of the snow, pumpkin soup suddenly sounds good to me!Pumpkin is definitely one of the Super Foods for all athletes!  And…a cold March day is the perfect time to indulge in it!Let’s take a look at The Great Pumpkin:

  1. Pumpkin (or) carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, orange  bell peppers.

They contain: Alpha carotene, Beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid.

Servings: ½ cup most days

Benefits: reduce the risk of cancer, heart health, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, prevents free-radical complications of diabetes.

I am especially interested that the pumpkin is an anti-oxidant.  As athletes, especially runners know, that the harder we breathe, the more free-radicals oxidize and thus the need for foods which are anti-oxidents! 

Bring on the pumpkin!  How about in Pumpkin Quinoa Soup!

Pumpkin Quinoa Soup

Makes 8-10 cups

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil ½ cup chopped onions ½ cup chopped celery ½ cup grated carrots (Tip: purchase the onion, celery and carrots already chopped or grated from your local supermarket salad bar.) 1 can (29 oz) solid-packed pumpkin or 3 ½ -4 cups fresh pumpkin, cooked 4 cups vegetable broth (can be purchased or home made) 1 small apple cored, peeled and chopped 1 cup cooked quinoa  Click herefor basic directions to cook quinoa. Note: for more info on Quinoa, please click here.

Directions

1. Sauté onions, celery and carrots in olive oil until just softened. 2. Add pumpkin, vegetable broth, and apple. Simmer 10 minutes. 3. Stir in quinoa and heat through. 4. Enjoy! 5. If soup becomes too thick after setting awhile, thin with water or more vegetable broth to desired consistency.

Tip: Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, sour cream, tortilla chips or anything that sounds good to you.

Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1 cup = 100 calories, Fat = 2 grams, Carbs = 18 grams, Protein = 3 grams

Enjoy this recipe and any other way you enjoy the great pumpkin! AND…lets hope the snow is soon gone!

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