T Nation

Pumpkin Info & Benefits


Article by Dane Miller of www.garagestrength.com

Real and Raw Food Series # 1: Pumpkin-

"I got the idea to write about different foods under the label Real and Raw while eating lunch with the farmers that employ me in the early mornings.  As I sat there, I realized that everything these healthy and well-aged individuals ate, was either real food or raw.  They ate very little processed foods; outside of their bread almost none of their meals were processed.  

In this long and ever going series, I will document and discuss numerous food sources in brief articles that break down the positive and negatives of each food. At the end, I will provide my own personal rating for this type of food.

Pumpkin: While loading a bunch of heirloom pumpkins, I realized how many different types of pumpkin there are during the growing season. Nearly all of these are edible and each has a distinct flavor. Most individuals are used to the typical orange pumpkin, neglecting to notice the countless other varieties that can grow in the fall season.

Goodness: Pumpkin is full of bodybuilding minerals and vitamins. It is loaded with complete good stuff. Pumpkin is a good source of thiamin, niacin, B6, folate, iron, magnesium and a very good source for Vitamin A. It also contains a fair amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese.

With all these vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is a tremendous snack to eat following a workout. It also has a very low score on the Glycemic Load test.

Body Response: Pumpkin is also known to have the largest amount of carotenoids known to man. These are used to slow down aging and protect against certain forms of cancer.

Two-Fer: Pumpkin also contains a tremendous amount of edible seeds in each serving. Pumpkin seeds, along with pumpkin meat provide a tremendous amount of nutrition. These seeds have a large amount of iron, zinc and even contain a bit of Omega 3 and Omega 6.

One gram of the seeds provides a large amount of protein (L-Tryptophan), which clearly makes them a great snack in between meals. The seeds are also known to help with anxiety and other mental health issues.

Rating: Very good snack food. Ideal to use pumpkin meat as a side dish to a main meal as well"

I love pumpkin. I mix it with blackberries and cinnamon. mmm

Pumpkin is almost a staple food for me. It is almost stupidly simple to make…a.) cut b.) steam c.) take 10 min shower d.) eat. It is very versatile, lending itself to almost anything. Hell, I even made a nice batch of Pumpkin Beer!

Most appealing though is the carotenoid profile. Do a pubmed search for “alpha carotene”…very interesting stuff, especially for those of us older than 25

I wonder if using canned pumpkin (assuming it’s not loaded with a bunch of other crap) post workout would be a good idea? I might pick some up next time I’m at the store.

Blackberries? Cinnamon I can understand, but blackberries? Well I trust you trenchant. lol :stuck_out_tongue:

DG

Pumpkin, Eggs, Vanilla Protein, Flax, Nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspcice, some baking powder and splenda, and cook for some awesome low carb high fiber high protein pumpkin bread.

I also like to toss it in some vanilla MRP shakes along with some pumpkin spice, pecans and walnuts.

Another one is to just add some cookies and cream evopro to the microwaved pumpkin, creating something that tastes exactly like cookie dough but is loaded with fiber and protein. Add some nuts for a fatty acid profile and you are set.

And another very simple one for a side dish to any lean protein is just some microwaved pumpkin out of the can, some walnuts, pecans, maybe even some flax, and top it with some cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and splenda.

[quote]Dirty Gerdy wrote:
I wonder if using canned pumpkin (assuming it’s not loaded with a bunch of other crap) post workout would be a good idea? I might pick some up next time I’m at the store.

Blackberries? Cinnamon I can understand, but blackberries? Well I trust you trenchant. lol :stuck_out_tongue:

DG[/quote]

Make sure to get the canned pumpkin and not the pie filling, as there is a difference and sometimes the labels look similiar.

Pumpkin is loaded with fiber so it may slow down digestion, something a lot of people don’t want post workout. That’s up to you and your goals at the time.

How do some of you incorporate pumpkin into your diet? Recipes ?

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
How do some of you incorporate pumpkin into your diet? Recipes ?[/quote]

I’ve mixed pumpkin with ground turkey, eggs, basil, spinach, salt and pepper and made turkey meatballs.

those were very good.

Haven’t actually tried these yet, but i’m sure they are gonna be good.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Mix in blender
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup oats
1 scoop Vanilla Metabolic Drive
4 egg whites
cinnamon
nutmeg
vanilla

Sometimes I mix canned pumpkin, cottage cheese, cinnamon, and ground flax before bed. I also will do canned pumpkin, vanilla Metabolic Drive, cinnamon, and ground flax.

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
MaximusB wrote:
How do some of you incorporate pumpkin into your diet? Recipes ?

I’ve mixed pumpkin with ground turkey, eggs, basil, spinach, salt and pepper and made turkey meatballs.

those were very good.

[/quote]

Yummmmy that sounds awesome. Can you post the recipe, like the amounts and what temp to cook at?

I dump a couple of huge spoonfulls in oats or quinoa flakes, then microwave and add cinnamon. Its like pumpkin pie every morning.

I’ve been throwing a half cup of canned pumpkin in my morning super shake for a while now.

8 oz water
2 scoops Grow! Whey
1 scoop Vanilla Metabolic Drive Complete
1 cup kefir
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp flax seeds
half serving Superfood
1 serving Benefiber
cinnamon and stevia

I like to add 1/2 cup caned pumpkin to my strawberries and cream whey.

it only adds 40 cals and like 9 grams of carbs

also one of my favorite cheat deserts is half can of pumpkin,couple shakes of cinnamon,packet of splenda and half a honey grahm cracker.
instant pumpkin pie.

[quote]k8thegr8 wrote:
OctoberGirl wrote:
MaximusB wrote:
How do some of you incorporate pumpkin into your diet? Recipes ?

I’ve mixed pumpkin with ground turkey, eggs, basil, spinach, salt and pepper and made turkey meatballs.

those were very good.

Yummmmy that sounds awesome. Can you post the recipe, like the amounts and what temp to cook at?

I dump a couple of huge spoonfulls in oats or quinoa flakes, then microwave and add cinnamon. Its like pumpkin pie every morning.[/quote]

Sure! I had a blonde moment, I should have done that in my first post.

3cups ground turkey
2 eggs
1cup chopped spinach
4 leaves of fresh basil minced fine (mix this in with the spinach first before adding to turkey)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2cup canned pumpkin (add this last as turkey is very wet. If it gets too wet you can add oatmeal but not too much as you don’t want it too dry)

Make either one turkeyloaf or round into balls. The turkeyloaf would cook at 350degrees for about 45 minutes. The turkey balls would also be 350 but for about 25 - 30 minutes

can’t find canned pumpkin anywhere in socal :frowning:

[quote]kickureface wrote:
can’t find canned pumpkin anywhere in socal :([/quote]

There are no major grocery stores in your area? Because all of the grocery stores around me carry the Libby’s brand of canned pumpkin and usually year round.

This is also generally the easiest time of year to find it. Trader Joe’s just got their organic canned pumpkin back in stock. They usually run out in spring and it doesn’t come back until now.

[quote]kickureface wrote:
can’t find canned pumpkin anywhere in socal :([/quote]

Fella I am in San Diego and I have no problems finding pumpkin.

Look in the canned vegetable aisle, not the cake and pie aisle.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
I’ve been throwing a half cup of canned pumpkin in my morning super shake for a while now.

8 oz water
2 scoops Grow! Whey
1 scoop Vanilla Metabolic Drive Complete
1 cup kefir
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp flax seeds
half serving Superfood
1 serving Benefiber
cinnamon and stevia[/quote]

You animal. That is almost exactly what I used to make every morning. Replace the kefir with Trader Joe’s 2% Greek Yogurt and get back to me.

Pumpkin adds an amazing smoothness to shakes like xantham gum. You just need 1/3 of a standard can to see the effect.

And OG’s recipe is further proof that pumpkin is a versatile medium when used in cooking.

lol thanks i’ll look at those.
i went to costco which has a lot of crap, but no pumpkins anywhere!
costco=halloween unfriendly.

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
k8thegr8 wrote:
OctoberGirl wrote:
MaximusB wrote:
How do some of you incorporate pumpkin into your diet? Recipes ?

I’ve mixed pumpkin with ground turkey, eggs, basil, spinach, salt and pepper and made turkey meatballs.

those were very good.

Yummmmy that sounds awesome. Can you post the recipe, like the amounts and what temp to cook at?

I dump a couple of huge spoonfulls in oats or quinoa flakes, then microwave and add cinnamon. Its like pumpkin pie every morning.

Sure! I had a blonde moment, I should have done that in my first post.

3cups ground turkey
2 eggs
1cup chopped spinach
4 leaves of fresh basil minced fine (mix this in with the spinach first before adding to turkey)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2cup canned pumpkin (add this last as turkey is very wet. If it gets too wet you can add oatmeal but not too much as you don’t want it too dry)

Make either one turkeyloaf or round into balls. The turkeyloaf would cook at 350degrees for about 45 minutes. The turkey balls would also be 350 but for about 25 - 30 minutes
[/quote]

Yummy, thanks!