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Pumpkin

This fall, don't just carve up pumpkins—eat them! Packed with nutrients including alpha and beta-carotene, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and E, pumpkin helps to lower cancer risk as well as protect both eye and heart health. Pumpkin is very low in calories and can be used in a variety of ways. Don't forget that for additional benefits you can eat the seeds, too—they help to support the immune system and prostate health. Check out Hank's Pumpkintown in Watermill and have fun picking your own perfect pumpkin.


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Ingredients
15 ounces fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 cups water
2 cups plain almond milk
4 tablespoons dried cranberries
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice instead of the three above, you can add more if you like it spicier)
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal (not instant)
Maple syrup for serving
Chopped pecans, for serving (lightly toasting them first is delicious)
Additional almond milk, for serving (if desired)

Method
In large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the pumpkin, water, milk, dried cranberries, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Bring to a boil. Add the oatmeal. Turn the heat down and cook about 15 minutes. Stir often. Once the oatmeal is cooked, serve with maple syrup or agave syrup on the side, chopped pecans to sprinkle on top.


Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Ingredients
8 ounces of whole-grain or gluten-free pasta
1 medium shallot
3-4 garlic cloves
10 leaves fresh sage
3/4 cup fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup toasted pecans
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (7 to 8 minutes); drain into a colander. Note: if using gluten-free pasta, toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from clumping as it cools. Meanwhile, mince the shallot, garlic, and sage. Heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable broth in the pasta pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic; stir for 3 minutes until softened. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and half of the sage. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well. Sprinkle each serving with the remaining sage and toasted pecans. Optional: you can also grate a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg over each serving.

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