Pumpkin flesh is chalk full of fibre, vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and phosphorus - and it contains a host of other vitamins and minerals including potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins B2, B5, and E. Like other orange-colored vegetables and fruits, pumpkins are very high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Why do we need Vitamin A? Well, lots of reasons! Vitamin A promotes good vision (especially night vision), it is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth and mucous membranes, and Vitamin A is your body's first line of defence from invading organisms. Just one-half cup serving (125 ml) of cooked pumpkin provides more than 25% of your day's worth of vitamin A.
With only 25 calories per serving (1/2 cup of cooked pumpkin), this deliciously versatile fruit is rich in antioxidants, which protect us from free radicals damage associated with cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancers, and aging.
Looking for more ways to integrate pumpkin into your fall menu plan? Try Michelle Cialdella's famous whole wheat pumpkin gnocchi. Love recipes? Check out our free digital recipe book.
Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (may vary depending on the amount of water in the pumpkin)
- 1 ½ pounds (700 grams) of pumpkin trimmed and cut into 4 cm cubes
- 1 egg
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Cook pumpkin cubes for about 30 minutes in boiling salted water.
- Drain the pumpkin cubes to extract as much water as possible.
- Reduce the mashed pumpkin on low heat to thicken. Let cool.
- Stir the egg, flour, salt, and freshly ground pepper into warm, mashed pumpkin until a doughy consistency forms.
- Work the dough so that it becomes malleable and does not stick. Add a little more flour if necessary.
- Make long-cylindrical dough rolls about 30 cm long and 1.5 cm in diameter, and cut cylinders into small 3 cm long pieces.
- Imprint lines on top of gnocchi piece using the teeth of a fork.
- Boil gnocchi in a large pot of salted water by immersing the gnocchi for about 5-6 minutes, and then removing with a sieve or slotted spoon once they float to the surface.
- Serve with Medisys’ lentil marinara or your favourite tomato or vegetable-based sauce!
Chef’s Tip: If freezing, place fresh gnocchi on a parchment lined cookie sheet before placing in freezer, once frozen, store in freezer bags. This avoids having gnocchi clump or stick together!
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Author: MICHELLE CIALDELLA, VP, OPERATIONS – EASTERN CANADA, MEDISYS
Michelle Cialdella is the VP Operations, Eastern Canada for Medisys Executive Health. In her role, she is responsible for directing all eastern clinics, delivering the gold standard of service to Medisys’ clients, and acquisition integration. Michelle has gained an impressive degree of experience as a leader in operations, customer care, marketing, communication, and sales. Prior to joining Medisys, Michelle acted as a consultant, specialized in operations and change management. She has worked extensively for Bell Canada, where she led teams through the corporation’s transformation, and managed the sales, marketing and operations for small and medium businesses (SMBs) and the Bell Canada Enterprise market space. Michelle has also worked as the Customer Care Director for Group Benefit and Group Retirement Services at Sun Life Financial (Canada). Michelle holds a business degree from the École des Sciences de la Gestion at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Actively involved in Leucan who has been committed to helping cancer-stricken children and their families for close to 40 years, Michelle is an Ambassador of The Leucan Experience, Leucan’s Benefit Evening.