9.20.2010

Halloween, healthy?

The first holiday of the end of the year is approaching us and yes, Halloween can be healthy. Soon, you will start seeing pumpkins everywhere and there are so many yummy ways to make them a part of your healthy lifestyle.

Pumpkin flesh is full of Vitamin A, a key vitamin for eye health and in preventing macular degeneration. Vitamin A is also a fantastic vitamin to make your skin radiant and may help decrease the aging of skin (which is my favorite benefit!)

Here are a couple of fun ways to use pumpkin for this time of year:

Save your pumpkin seeds and bake then. Clean the remaining flesh from the seeds with a quick rinse of water. Let sit out until the water dries off on top of a clean dish towel. Put seeds into a ziploc bag and put in 2 tablespoons of light olive oil. Toss in the bag until the seeds are coated. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread seeds out onto a baking sheet, top with a little sea salt or favorite seasoning (really you cannot go wrong here, one of my favorites is chili powder and a little garlic powder) and bake until toasted (around 10-15 minutes). Watch closely, they can burn!

Another fun treat for the season is taking canned pumpkin and making a dip. Use 1 cup of canned pumpkin and mix with a 6-8 oz cup of vanilla 0% greek yogurt. Toss in a little allspice for additional flavor. I will cut up apples, grapes and strawberries and put on toothpicks to make kabobs.

Enjoy the season!