I know it seems weird to have a post that revolves around both something you eat and something you put on your face but trust me on this one today! Pumpkin is not only good to eat, it’s good for your body too. According to Nutrition and You, Pumpkins are:
- One of the vegetables which is very low calories; provides just 26 cal per 100 g and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich a source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. Recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
- With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetable in the cucurbitaceae family with highest levels ofvitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compoundes like alpha and beta carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
- Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in reitina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from “age related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
- Rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
- It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Pumpkin seeds are good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are good for heart health. In addition, they are very good in protein, minerals and many health benefiting vitamins. For example 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 cal, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%) etc… but no cholesterol. The seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to GABA in the brain.
With all the goodness pumpkin has to offer, it’s a great vegetable to add to our diets. Today’s recipe is for Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes that can be made ahead and frozen for a quick and nutritious meal on the go.
Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes
As featured in Health.com magazine November 2011
1 cup whole wheat pancake mix (if you don’t have this on hand, see recipe below)
1 cup cold water
1/3 c canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Mix until the batter is combined but still lumpy. Spray a griddle or skillet with nonstick spray and heat on medium. Spoon bout 1/4 c batter for each pancake and cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear.
Whole Wheat Pancake Mix (note this is just the mix for the pancakes – only use this if you do not have pancake mix on hand as mentioned above):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Use in Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes and store any unused pancake mix in the freezer to use in later recipes. Be sure and label it!
I made a double batch of the Perfect Pumpkin pancakes since I had the whole can of pumpkin open. This made quite a few pancakes in varying sizes. I can now put these in a ziplock bag and freeze them. I’ll take a couple out at a time for quick breakfast in the morning.
If you use 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin, you will have leftover pumpkin from this recipe. The last thing you should do is throw it away! You could freeze the leftovers in 1/3 c increments to make this recipe again, or for something fun you can make a pumpkin face mask! Just as pumpkin is good for you to eat, it’s also good for your skin. It helps to exfoliate and nourish your skin. Making your own pumpkin facial mask at home sure beats those pricey store bought pumpkin masks and peels.
Pumpkin Face Mask
As featured on BellaSugar.com
- Make your base: Whisk together about 1/4 cup of pumpkin and one egg.
- Customize: If desired, add a splash of milk
- For dry skin: Add a bit of honey, which not only acts as a humectant, but the natural sweetener provides antiseptic properties, too.
- For oily skin: For an astringent effect, mix in a splash of apple cider or cranberry juice.
- Apply: Slather the mixture on your face. Relax, read, do chores, or whatever you’d like for the next 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off.
In case you don’t like that recipe, here are a few more:
How to exfoliate with a pumpkin mask
Get creative with pumpkin to not only benefit your skin but your body as well. Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Please share it with us by adding it to the comments below.
Special Offer through October 27, 2011 —-> Do you need help with meal planning? Right now you can get a 12 month membership to Dine Without Whine for the cost of a 6 month membership! Use the code: 12for6 to take advantage of this discount. Don’t let the “family” part fool you, many of these recipes can be adjusted to cook for one!! Visit Dine Without Whine – A Weekly Menu Planner for more information or click the image below: