Put your carved jack-o’-lantern on your porch, but please pass along its seeds to your plate! Those tiny ovals will obtain an irresistible crunch upon roasting, meaning they have no place in the trashcan.
They’re also scary good for you. Legend has it that jack-o’-lanterns originated as a means to ward off evil spirits. However, we’re starting to think it’s the pumpkin seeds that deserve most of the credit for scaring off death. You see, pumpkin seeds contain a solid 150mg of magnesium per ounce. Research shows that meeting the recommended daily value of magnesium (442mg/day) is highly associated with a reduced risk of death. (That’s a 34% risk reduction for overall mortality, 59% reduction in cardiovascular death & a 37% reduction in cancer death, according to this study. Woah!)
In addition to that magical magnesium, pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. This all makes them an incredibly satisfying snack — especially when you add a little salt and curry powder to the mix.
We’ve got the recipe below that shows you how to do just that, so get ready to go save your seeds and take them to the table.
In honor of Halloween and the season of pumpkin everything, we’re replacing bad monsters (300 calorie, 38 grams of sugar pumpkin lattes) with good monsters by inviting this recipe into our kitchen.
The creamy shake is packed full of nutrition and fill-you-up fiber, making it a great choice to add to your weekly, or even daily, breakfast rotation.
Feel free to play around with any toppings, as well as the thickness by adjusting the amount of soy milk you add to the blender. Sometimes we let this green monster spread its mighty power to a bowl, and dive in with our spoon instead of a straw. Regardless, get this good guy on your (table)side.
As summer officially comes to a close today, we’re bringing you a few pumpkin breakfast ideas to wakeup your autumn tastebuds. You’ll find all of the recipes below packed with both real pumpkin and oats, a favorite fall combination of ours. Both ingredients are filled with fiber, which means together, they’ll easily leave you feeling satisfied well into lunchtime. Studies show when you eat foods heavy on fiber, you can feel full on fewer calories. That’s clearly good for your waistline. Now, let’s make it good for your tastebuds, too, by creating a heavenly, pumpkin-pie-in-a-bowl meal.
Although similarly spiced, you can guarantee the following recipes are all better for your health than a slice of pie, but perhaps even creamier and certainly easier to create, too. From a warm, to a chocolatey, to a make-ahead option, you pick your choice. Then say hello to fall with a bright dose of orange on your spoon.
Since 40+ million Americans eat pizza on any given day, we decided it’s time to turn one of the nation’s favorite junk foods into a meal with more merit. Your average slice packs in more fat, sodium and refined “bad” carbs than can ever be claimed healthy. Enter the deep dish arena and you run the risk of piling 770 calories onto your plate in just one slice. Yikes!
Luckily, pizza has the potential to be an award-winning meal if you power it up with the right ingredients and give its crust some care. In fact, it presents the perfect platform to load up on summer veggies, which you’ll see in many of the recipes included below. Let your mood and your meal help you choose which to try first!
8 recipes to power up your pizza:
Beans are an excellent source of both fiber and protein. On average, just ½ cup holds the same amount protein as an ounce of meat. As for their fiber, beans have been shown to help lower cholesterol and keep blood sugars even, which is important for weight control and overall health.
In fact, in a new study shows, participants who ate ¾ cup of legumes per day reduced their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by about 5 percent. Researchers suggest that this could reduce heart attacks and other major cardiovascular events by 5-6 percent.
Our hearts tell us it’s time to bring you a bean-filled recipe to fuel up and use for today’s Meatless Monday. This colorful and easy salad comes from wellness and nutrition expert, Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RD, LDN, FAND. She suggests making it a day in advance and allowing the flavors to marinade, then serving with a green salad, and grilled salmon or chicken.
By Theresa Berenato
Prior to this year, your first thought at the word “chia” was probably the pet plant from the ‘80s, right? The one where “Ch-ch-ch-chia!” rang across a slew of seemingly never-ending commercials, and where you’d spread the seeds on a ceramic cat or dog, water it, and watch it grow. “Ch-ch-ch-chia!” was everywhere.
Chia pets eventually faded out, but today, chia again has become ubiquitous – this time as an ingredient topping health food charts. Whether or not you’ve consumed the black seeds, likely you’ve heard about them via the news or in health magazines. So what’s with their reemergence and all of the sudden buzz?
To find the answer, we’ll delve into the health benefits they hold as well as some of their fun culinary usages. It’s pretty clear the cool factor of these little seeds goes far beyond their initial value in creating fast-growing Christmas gifts.
The Origins of Edible Chia
Chia, technically known as Salvia hispanica, is a traditional food in central and southern America. Here, it’s been a staple long before any sort of household chia pet, dating back to early Mayan and Aztec civilization. Originally, it was the chia seed oil that was used for cooking because of its widely-believed health benefits. Chia seeds produce little pretty white or purple flowers that can grow up to 1-1.5meters tall. The plant it produces is technically an herb.
It’s the seeds, however, that are all the rage at the supermarkets. You can generally find them anywhere that has a bulk aisle, near the other nuts and seeds. Although, there’s always the option to grow your own! Hubpages gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do so.
What makes chia seeds super-stars?
Chia seeds come in two varieties – white and black – and range in size from 1 to 2 mm. Both are equally nutrient-packed, and are praised for their high level of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are an essential nutrient for human health that the body can’t make on its own – meaning, we must consume this nutrient through food in order to survive. When optimal levels are consumed, omega-3s help lower blood pressure, protect against autoimmune disease/cancer, and lower the risk of other heart-related diseases. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are the building blocks of our hormones and support our nervous system.
A whopping 20% of a chia seed is made up of omega-3s, making them a “superfood” for the brain and heart. As a result, studies show that adding them to your diet can aid in decreasing LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol levels and increasing HDL, or “good”, cholesterol. Another 20% of each seed is made up of protein. Bonus: they contain all eight essential amino acids, making this 20% act as a complete protein. They hold five times the amount of calcium as milk, seven times more vitamin C than oranges, three times as much iron as iron-boasting spinach and twice the potassium of bananas. It goes without saying, these little guys certainly pack a lot in.
Chia seeds also have a high fiber content. Fiber slows the rate that sugar is absorbed in the blood stream, which keeps your blood glucose levels from rising to quickly and creating sugar crashes. Aside from the health benefits chia’s fiber brings to the table, it also enables the seeds to create a gel-like substance when mixed with water. This gel can be generated within all sorts of foods, like oatmeal or smoothies, to add a unique texture that doesn’t compromise flavor. Gel yeah!
Speaking of food, I’m ready to eat…how should I use these little seeds?
Part of chia seeds’ quickly growing popularity stems from the fact that these health food stars can be used in virtually anything. They are mild in flavor, meaning they’ll add lots of nutrition without being overbearing or intrusive.
The US Dietary Guidelines recommends staying within 48 grams per day. Think of them like sesame seeds and throw them on top of:
– Baked goods (such as bread products)
– Beverages (such as fruit juices)
– Wherever your culinary imagination takes you!
If you’re curious about their gel properties, The Kitchn brings us a handful of recipes where you can test this out.
This is a no-brainer…
If you can’t already tell, the chia seed is a pretty resourceful food. Chia seeds have left their mark by benefiting our health in the past, and will continue to do so for the future. Start by adding chia seeds in your yogurt in the morning, your soups at lunch, and in your salad by dinner. These simple small steps can add a boost to your diet without you even realizing it.