Wednesday, October 16, 2013



"There are three things I've learned never discuss with people:  religion, politics, and The Great Pumpkin."
                                    --Linus  from "It's the Great Pumpkin,                                                            Charlie Brown" (1966)

October is when parents think about taking the little ones to the local pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins for Halloween.  Pumpkins are great for more than decorating your front porch a couple of weeks a year.  Pumpkin is a squash that is delicious, healthy, and good for you.  Like all vegetables that are orange, pumpkin is high in the anti-oxidant, beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body and may offer protection against certain cancers and degenerative aspects of aging.

Growing Healthy Kids has been asked to create a gluten-free pumpkin recipe for the first ever children’s October event on Main Street Vero Beach.  We’ve been working furiously in the GHK Test Kitchen to come up with the perfect pumpkin cookie for kids.  The results so far are..."YUM...More, please!"

I have a confession, dear readers...Cooking pumpkin is SO EASY.  Before this challenge to create a gluten-free pumpkin cookie came to Growing Healthy Kids, I had never cooked a pumpkin to use in a recipe.  Now that I have crossed that line and I have learned how easy it is, I am a convert and will probably never go back to using canned pumpkin again!

DIRECTIONS FOR USING FRESH PUMPKIN IN PIES, SOUPS, AND MORE:  Break off the stem of a small pumpkin.  Wash the outside.  Cut pumpkin in half.  Scoop out seeds.  Place upside down (skin side up) in a large baking dish.  Add a small amount of water (1/2 cup or so).  Roast in an oven at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.  Let cool.  Scoop out pumpkin and puree in a food processor.  Freeze pumpkin if you are not going to use it right away.

One cup of 1” pumpkin cubes contain:
  • 30 calories
  • 394 mg of potassium
  • 197% of daily Vitamin A
  • 17% of daily Vitamin C
  • 1 gram of sodium

CLICK HERE to get into the mood with The Great Pumpkin Waltz by Vince Guaraldi.

Happy, Healthy Pumpkin Season to you and your family!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.