Tis' the season for many a pumpkin and far too few of us actually incorporate this humble vegetable into our diets aside from in pumpkin pie which isn't all that healthy. Anyone who is watching their weight will love pumpkin. It is extremely low calorie but, also very filling due to it's high fiber content. Pumpkin is one of the top food sources of Vitamin A which supports healthy vision, skin, mucous membranes, bone growth and cell growth and maintenance. If you couldn't tell by it's vibrant color, pumpkin is also rich in antioxidants and many other important nutrients that can benefit in fighting diabetes and cancer. It is also recommended as one of the top cholesterol lowering foods and is an extremely versatile ingredient! Don't forget the seeds called pepitas which can be roasted and enjoyed with a little salt or your other favorite seasonings. They are high in B vitamins, Vitamin E and are also a wonderful source of fiber.
How to enjoy it: Make pumpkin soup, add it to muffins, pancakes and waffles, in a pie or tart or cookie and even roasted with other seasonal veggies as a great hearty side dish.
Although Bison can be harder to find it is starting to pop up more and more in grocery stores as people learn all the benefits of this wonderful protein source. With less calories than turkey and more protein than beef this could possibly be the best meat out there! Unlike cattle farms which can have questionable methods of raising and handling the animals, bison are generally allowed to live in a free, more natural environment and are grass fed providing a higher quality of meat with a larger nutrient profile. Bison is a great choice for women due to it's high iron content to prevent iron deficiency anemia. Not to mention the flavor is richer and often classified as better than beef. It is also very low in fat but, as high in Omega 3 fatty acids as salmon and contains the highest known levels of CLA of any meat which is a fat blocker as well as anti-carcinogen. Very rich in selenium this is also a great choice for those who have thyroid issues as selenium is often linked to thyroid health.
How to enjoy it: In stew, soup, as a roast, bison steaks, ground bison, sausages. Any way you enjoy beef you can enjoy bison but, with more flavor and tenderness.
If you haven't tried hemp yet you are certainly missing out on one of natures most powerful super foods. Like chia seeds, hemp hearts (seeds) are growing in popularity and showing up in all sorts of grocery stores! Hemp is a great choice for anyone looking to add essential omegas and extra protein into their daily diet. Hemp foods are vegetarian and vegan friendly. They are not genetically modified, but ARE kosher certified, pesticide free and some are also organic. Hemp contains 10 amino acids, provides a balanced source of the essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 including GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) which has been shown to help maintain heart health, healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels and aid in hormonal balance. If that wasn't enough hemp has a gamut of other nutrients such as chlorophyll, vitamin E, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and the list goes on! We love the nutty flavor so much that you can even eat these by the spoonful! Our nutritionist rarely goes a day without them.
How to enjoy them: By the spoonful, blended into smoothies for a creamier consistency, garnish for salads or soups, on ice cream or yogurt instead of peanut bits or sprinkled on top of oats.