Benefits of Cooking with Pumpkins

Original article on Kelowna Now 

Maybe it was the grey, rainy weather in Kelowna this weekend, but I decided to use pumpkin in all my cooking! I put some in my greek yogurt with stevia and cinnamon for a pumpkin pie dessert, used pumpkin in my turkey chili, and today I decided to try to make pumpkin protein energy bites. 

Pumpkin chilli

Guess what, it was very successful!  

Pumpkin Protein Energy Bites

These little delicious bites were super easy to make, and plus they are very healthy for you. But first, here are a few great facts you need to know about pumpkin
Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and 
only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories. 

  A fiber-rich diet seems to help people eat less, and thereby shed pounds. 

Pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or "bad" cholesterol. 

Pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, and beta-carotene may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute. Food sources of beta-carotene seem to help more than a supplement, and the plant sterols in pumpkin seeds have also been linked to fighting off certain cancers.

A cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564 milligrams compared to a banana's 422. This is perfect for post workout to help restore the body's balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout! 

At last, here is my recipe for my Pumpkin Protein Energy Bites!

1 cup rolled oats 
1 cup pure pumpkin 
2 scoops vanilla protein powder 
2 tbsp cinnamon 
2 scoops stevia or if you must, honey 
2 tbsp chocolate chips(I used Krisda chocolate chips from Natures Fare) 
1 tsp vanilla 
Mix all together with your hands. Roll in very small balls and place in air tight containers. Makes about 24-30 balls. Keep stored up to one week.