Autumn is the season to store freshly harvested or canned pumpkins at your will. But sometimes, a few tins of canned pumpkin end up gathering dust in the kitchen cupboard post-Thanksgiving. If you’re already bored with those pies, bread, and pastries, here are a few unique and delicious ways to use up your extra tins of canned pumpkin.
Pumpkin Protein Smoothie
Canned pumpkin can be the perfect ingredient for your smoothie with its smooth and creamy texture. Just blitz the pumpkin puree with almond butter, vanilla protein powder, banana, and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. It can even beat the seasonal milkshake from your favorite dessert spot!
We often add whatever veggies we can grab to pasta dishes without a second thought. So, why be shy about pumpkins? Canned pumpkin can be the star of your next pasta dish! To whip up the Pumpkin Alfredo sauce, add pumpkin puree and heavy whipping cream to butter-sautéed garlic and simmer until slightly thickened. Then add seasonings, dried herbs, and cheese. Toss cooked fettuccine in the sauce and your delicious pasta is ready, loaded with immunity-boosting beta-carotene. So don’t think twice before grabbing a second helping!
There’s no secret that oatmeal is an ultra-healthy and uber-satisfying breakfast. You can make your go-to morning oatmeal even better by mixing one tablespoon or two canned pumpkins in it. Then finish it with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of aromatic pumpkin pie spice. Along with the benefit of added fiber, the pumpkin puree will thicken your oatmeal to a custardy consistency while giving it a vibrant orange hue.
Pumpkin Chili is not at all silly! Rather, adding canned pumpkin to one of the most seasonal meals can make it the official fall-favorite dish. The soft velvety texture and earthy nutty flavor imparted by pureed pumpkin perfectly complement the hearty richness of this dish. Along with the goodness of tomatoes and power-packed beans, the added health benefits of pumpkin will satisfy both your taste buds and body.
Canned Pumpkin as a Baking Alternative
This one is a quick and healthy tip for all the bakers out there! Pumpkin can work as a great plant-based substitute for your baking essentials like eggs, butter, and oil. 1 egg is equal to ¼ cup of pumpkin puree. 1 tablespoon of butter or oil is equal to the same amount of pumpkin puree. So, next time if you’re out of your ingredients and running short of time, let a tin of canned pumpkin come to your rescue!
The right amount of salt in your diet can make the difference between feeling fatigued and having an endless supply of energy, but did you know that too much salt in your diet can also negatively affect your sleep patterns? In fact, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute and published in the journal Current Biology, increased consumption of salt not only interferes with your sleep quality but also causes permanent changes to your biological clock.
What Causes Insomnia?
According to a study published in 2011, individuals who drank high-salt diets took longer to fall asleep and had less non-REM sleep than those on lower-salt diets. This is partly because salt increases our sense of thirst and causes us to drink more liquids before bed, which can lead to frequent trips to the bathroom and make it difficult for us to get quality sleep.
How Salt Affects Your Body
While there are cases of high blood pressure that can’t be treated without medication, for most people, salt is a significant factor in high blood pressure. However, it’s also important to note that salt doesn’t increase blood pressure directly. Instead, it can cause your body to retain water, which raises your blood volume and therefore increases your blood pressure. Doctors have known for years that too much salt intake can lead to high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease. But new research also shows that it may increase your risk of irregular heart rhythms during sleep and daytime fatigue.
Potential Dietary Sources of High Sodium
About 90 percent of Americans consume more sodium than recommended by doctors in the US. Processed and fast food contribute to excess sodium in your diet. Check labels for these high-sodium ingredients: salt, soy sauce, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), monosodium glutamate (MSG), and sodium nitrate/nitrite. Other sources of excess salt include processed meats like bacon, sausages or hot dogs, cold cuts, cheese, bread, and canned or smoked fish.
Tips to Reduce Sodium in Diet
So first thing’s first: reduce your sodium intake by opting for snacks with 5 percent or less of their calories coming from salt; check nutrition labels for sodium content and pick foods lower in salt if there’s a choice between two options. Getting enough potassium can also help prevent disturbances to your sleep pattern—it’s found in many fruits and vegetables such as bananas, avocados, spinach, and broccoli. A healthy diet can change your days, and nights too!