Be SQUARE!

pumkin-cream-cheese-squares

This time of the year, I love to try new pumpkin recipes. They feel a little healthier…
or is it just in my mind? Who said pumpkins are just to look at?  So it turns out, it is
not just in my head. Here are a few BIG benefits when enjoying this seasons
STAR-STUDDED ingredient, PUMPKIN!

Then, take a look at this lovely little recipe that is simple to prepare…and just
sweet enough to satisfy that craving for dessert!

 

# 1. One cup of cooked or mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily
intake of vitamin A. This aids vision, especially at night or in dim lighting, according to the
National Institutes of Health.

# 2. Pumpkin is a good source of fiber. With 3 grams per 1 cup serving and only 49 calories, it
is a fiber-rich addition to any diet plan and can help shed pounds.

# 3. Along with other orange vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash,
pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention,
according to the National Cancer Institute. Food sources of beta-carotene help more than a
supplement, according to the NIH.

# 4. The amino acid in pumpkin seeds are important in production of serotonin, one of the major
players when it comes to our moods. A handful of roasted pumpkin seeds may help your outlook
on life to be more positive.

# 5. Pumpkin helps protect the skin. The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids
in pumpkin, that may keep cancer cells at bay, can also help keep skin wrinkle-free, Health magazine
has reported.

# 6. Ever heard of bananas being touted as natures energy bar? Turns out, a cup of cooked pumpkin
has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564 milligrams to a banana’s 422! A little extra
potassium helps restore the bodies balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout, and keeps muscles
functioning at their best.

# 7. Pumpkins are a solid source of the essential nutrient vitamin C.  One cup of cooked pumpkin
contains more than 11 milligrams, or 20% of the 60 milligrams recommended for women daily.
( Men should aim for 75 milligrams. )

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE SQUARES!

3 eggs, divided
2 ¼ c. flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 c. + 1 tbsp. sugar, divided
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. baking soda
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine 2 eggs, 2 cups sugar, oil and pumpkin in a mixing bowl and
beat together. In a separate bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture; mix well and pour into a greased 9-inch square
baking dish.

Combine remaining egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, vanilla and cream cheese in a
small mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer. Spoon cream cheese batter over pumpkin
batter in baking dish and swirl with knife. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Chill and cut into squares. Serve.

Excerpt From: Michelle Huxtable. “The Gathering of Friends.” iBooks Volume Six “A Year of Holidays at Home”

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