Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! Pumpkin season is officially upon us, and you’ll see pumpkin fields, activities, and spicy treats around every corner.
In fact, if you visit Niagara County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension 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 the goodness of pumpkin that you can taste, SNAP-Ed is here to help.
Pumpkins are eaten as vegetables. One cup of mashed pumpkin counts as one serving of vegetables, which helps adults meet their goal of three to four servings of vegetables per day. Pumpkins are full of fiber, vitamin A, and potassium.
You can choose to roast and mash your own pumpkin, but it’s often much easier and cheaper to buy canned pumpkin mash. Plus, canned pumpkin can last longer on your pantry shelf, which means you can enjoy pumpkin flavors until next fall!
Just be sure to read the label and buy pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. The canned pumpkin pie filling has 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 and tasty way to enjoy that seasonal flavor. Try topping them with raisins, nuts, applesauce or a small amount of maple syrup. The following recipe is taken directly from the SNAPEDNY.org website, courtesy of Food Hero.
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1-3 / 4 cups skim or 1% milk
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon of salt
5 tablespoons raisins (optional, for making funny faces)
Combine eggs, pumpkin, milk and oil in a large mixing bowl.
Add flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt to the egg mixture. Stir gently.
Spray a large skillet or griddle lightly with nonstick cooking spray or wipe lightly with oil. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat (300 degrees in an electric pan). Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter onto a hot griddle.
Put a face on the pancake, using raisins for the eyes and teeth. Drop the raisins into the dough while baking.
Pancakes are ready to turn when the top is bubbling all over and the edges start to look dry. Use a quick flip with a wide spatula to flip the pancakes. Turn only once. Continue to cook until the bases are brown and dry.
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Serving Size, 2 pancakes: 200 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 510 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g added sugars, 6 g protein.
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If you want to learn more about healthy cooking that saves you money, check out the extension on Facebook @cceniagaracounty or email [email protected] Visit www.SNAPEDNY.org for more tips and tricks and to find virtual classrooms.
SNAP-Ed is funded by the USDA Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, which provides nutritional assistance to low-income people. For more information, call 1-800-352-8401.
Justine Hays, MS, RD, CDN, is the SNAP-Ed Senior Nutritionist at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County.