Pumpkin

Here's a few things you should know about me... things that I love: 

  • Autumn.
  • Everything having to do with autumn.  Period.  

Seriously.  When you think about autumn (or the fall), if you are like me, your mind goes to... football games, local parish fairs (I'm from Louisiana, we have parishes, not counties), cool temperatures which let you stay outside later and not swat at mosquitoes, bonfires with roasted marshmallows, flannel shirts with your favorite pair of boots... and pumpkins.  

How can you NOT like fall, right?  Plus... my birthday is in the fall, just sayin'.  That's awesome.  

So.  With fall peeping around the corner, I busted out with my FIRST pumpkin spice latte at the "Bucks of the Star" coffee shop while heading to work.  (sometimes, vet life calls for coffee).  

Wow.  I am sharing ALOT about myself in this blog... I'm a Louisiana girl.  Autumn birthday.  Veterinarian.  

{ BOOM }  

But enough about me... let's get down to the nitty gritty about PUMPKINS and all their amazing benefits!  

pumpkin:pineapple.jpg

How to select a pumpkin? 

  • check for pumpkins that feel FIRM + HEAVY... avoid ones with soft spots
  • the color should be consistent throughout... no spots or evidence of mold- yuck! 
  • here's a beautiful link for you to dive deeper with your great pumpkin search

How to store a pumpkin? 

Now.  When we purchase, pumpkins... we tend to carve/remove the seeds and decorate.  The flesh of the pumpkin, I tend to store in a glass container in the fridge for a few days.  If I purchase canned pumpkin (for our pumpkin pancakes), I do the same thing... place the leftover canned pumpkin in a sealed glass container for a few days in the fridge and try to use within the week.  

So... when I make pumpkin pancakes... we also tend to have pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins and/or soup later in the week! 

Psstt.  If you want to store pumpkin SEEDS, make sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.  the seeds will last a wee bit longer. 

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What are the benefits? 

There are TONS of amazing benefits of pumpkins... and not just the flesh, but also the seeds! Check it out: 

  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • vitamin A which helps the eyes 
  • vitamin C which helps your immune system + encourages collagen production 
  • fiber!!!  
  • pumpkin seeds: 
    • aids in energy production
    • improves brain function
    • supports healthy bone formation 
    • regulates cholesterol 
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How can you use pumpkin in your beauty regimen? 

Okay.  As I listed above, pumpkins are loaded with antioxidants + some pretty cool vitamins which makes pumpkins an excellent source in nourishing your skin.  Here's a simple body scrub I read in a Willow & Sage magazine while shopping at the Home Depot!  

{ sometimes, I browse the magazine rack while the hubster shops for home repairs... it happens } 

BODY SCRUB

  • GROCERIES:
    • 1/4 cup of cooked pureed pumpkin 
    • 1/4 cup of brown sugar 
  • NOW WHAT?
    • Mix ingredients and rub into your skin while in the shower. 
    • Rinse thoroughly. 
    • Make sure to avoid eyes or skin that has open wounds/scratches.  
 Pancakes

Pancakes

What are your favorite recipes using pumpkin? 

When working the veterinary life, you can always since FALL is coming around the corner... because of PUMPKIN SPICE lattes start popping up as everyone's cup of brew.  I'm being serious... coffee + scrub life seem to go hand-in-hand.  At least for me, anyways ;)  

Here's a delicious pumpkin spice un-latte you can make at home... while staying true to your health goals and boosting your brain power!!!  *Bullet Proof Pumpkin Spice UnLatte*

Another pumpkin recipe I love to whip up in our kitchen is PUMPKIN PANCAKES!!!  You can snag our family recipe here (Pages) or keep reading.  This recipe is gluten free + dairy free (should you use coconut oil instead of the grass-fed butter).  

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

GROCERIES:

- 3/4c of canned pumpkin
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2c of almond flour
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of ginger
- 1 tsp of pumpkin spice
- 2 tbsp of grass-fed butter, melted


NOW WHAT?!?

1. Whisk the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla extract, melted butter and pure maple syrup all together.
2. Sift the spices, baking soda and baking powder into the wet ingredients.
3. Grease the skillet and place on medium heat. Spoon the batter into the skillet to make the pancakes the size you would like... the Gillies like small pancakes, so we make ours a wee bit on the small size.
4. When a few bubbles appear, flip the pancakes once to finish the cooking! Top with butter and maple syrup... we serve with either blueberries on top OR with a side of venison sausage! So good!

We also make a vegan pumpkin bread recipe... add chunks of pumpkin in our bean-less chili (which is the hubster's fave) and make a creamy pumpkin soup!   We will be adding some recipes to our collection, so make sure to check back.  

Here's ONE recipe I am longing to try this fall... pumpkin pie bites!  A healthy version of pumpkin pie... and gluten/dairy free.  SCORE!  

 alenasani.com

alenasani.com

Homeschooling with Pumpkins!

Stumbled upon this amazing little homeschooling activity on the land of Pinterest!  It's a great activity to do with our little preschoolers... teaches counting, hand-eye coordination and aids in fine motor development!  

Plus... with using roasted pumpkin seeds, I am not worried about them chowing down.  Did you know that pumpkin seeds were amazing for brain health!  YEP!  

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ADDITIONAL PUMPKIN RECIPES:

Coming soon... keep your eye out or join our e-mail list so we can shoot them your way!

 

love + gumption.

a.