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BellaOnline's Allergies and Colds Editor

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Eat more pumpkin


Pumpkin and other winter squash are full of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A to power your immune system. Your body uses vitamin A to help create white blood cells to fight infections, such as colds and flu.

All kinds of winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, acorn, delicate, hubbard, etc.) are rich sources of vital antioxidants and vitamins to protect against infection. These low- calorie vegetables contain an abundance of vitamin A and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin and carotenes.

I am counting on all the antioxidant-power of winter squash to help me to stay well this cold season. Here are a few pumpkin recipes to get your started. Feel free to substitute other winter squash in place of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Protein Spread
(1 serving)

Ingredients:

3 T. pumpkin puree
1 scoop vegan protein powder
1 T. sunbutter or almond butter
dash of cinnamon

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

You can wrap the spread in a tortilla or add it to my personal favorite, Fresh Fruit Compote, a baked apple, stuffed with fall harvest bounty.

Fresh Fruit Compote
(1 serving)

Ingredients:

1 cored large sweet apple
1 T. pumpkin seeds (toasted or raw)
1-2 T. frozen cranberries or pomegranate seeds
1 T. pumpkin protein spread or almond or sunbutter
splash of coconut nectar (or agave nectar)
dash of cinnamon
sprinkle of granola
optional: vegan yogurt or coconut cream
Directions:
Core the apple. Stuff with ingredients. Place in a microwave- safe container and microwave for about 4 minutes. Top with granola, yogurt or coconut cream.


Pumpkin Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Makes 2 servings or one really hearty single serving)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa flakes (or oatmeal)
3 T. chia eggs (mix 2 T. chia seed with 4 T. water and store in fridge for use as chia eggs) or egg whites
3 T. pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 T. sunbutter or almond butter
stevia to taste
1/4 cup cacao chips or chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. baking powder
dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use a large spoon to drop dough onto baking sheet. Flatten slightly with spoon or hands. Bake for 6-10 minutes. Makes about 5-6 cookies.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Sheree Welshimer. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sheree Welshimer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sheree Welshimer for details.

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