It’s pumpkin season!  And they’re not just great for jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkins also provide an impressive amount of nutritional benefits. According to the USDA, these orange fruits are excellent sources of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A. Just one cup of mashed pumpkin contains 564mg of potassium (16% of your RDA), 12mg of vitamin C (19% of your RDA), and 2,650 IU of vitamin A. According to the FDA, the recommended daily allowance for adults is 3,500mg of potassium*, 60mg of vitamin C* and 5,000IU of vitamin A*.

As with most fruits, pumpkins are best when they are fresh and in-season. So, grab a pumpkin to carve for Halloween and a second to carve and roast. Pumpkin can be added to a wide array of recipes to add flavor and nutrients.

Potassium – Potassium supports a wide range of benefits such as improving bone health, preventing muscle cramps, and lowering blood pressure.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that assists in building a strong immune system, lowering hypertension and healing wounds.

Vitamin A – Vitamin A is vital to vision and skin health, especially in children.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064928.htm. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your recommended daily allowances.

Pumpkin Recipes

Need some ideas to incorporate pumpkins into your meals?

Pumpkin Pancakes– A traditional breakfast favorite with an autumn twist! Change up your typical pancakes by adding pumpkin puree and seasonal spices with the recipe.

https://extension.illinois.edu/pumpkins/pancakes.cfm

Pumpkin Cheese Risotto– This seasonal side dish will make a unique addition to any dinner menu. Risotto is a classic, Italian dish but this recipe adds a savory, pumpkin twist.

https://extension.illinois.edu/pumpkins/risotto.cfm