September 24, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter
Fall is officially upon us, meaning that the leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and the holidays are approaching. A popular flavor of the season is pumpkin, a key ingredient to many of our favorite fall dishes. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin seeds are all very delicious additions to the table during autumn. But did you know that pumpkin contains a very important nutrient called Beta-carotene? Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A that is found in your favorite orange foods, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and of course…pumpkin! Beta-carotene is important for maintaining healthy skin and eyes, preventing infections, repairing tissues, and much more! Beta-carotene is also thought to have antioxidant properties, meaning that it helps your body get rid of harmful compounds that can cause cancer. Having your fair share of pumpkin this fall will help you reap all of the benefits of beta-carotene. Look at the recipe below from http://www.sallysbakingaddiction.com for a healthy fall treat: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 and 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (or less if you’re not a cinnamon freak like I am!)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries. Fold together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined – do not overmix. The cookie dough will be very thick. Taste the dough and add a pinch of salt if needed.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets and slightly flatten to the shape you want your cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Cookies stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days in an airtight container.