ARDMORE, OK -- Enjoying all the tasty holiday eats may leave some feeling a little guilty, but there is one festive fruit that is plentiful in health benefits that should leave you feeling both satisfied and guilt free.
For many carving pumpkins is an ideal activity during this time of year, but health food experts recommend you to stop throwing away what they say is the most important part -- the seeds and pumpkin goop.
What you may be sending down your disposal could actually help you out.
Mary Bernt the owner of Veggies, a health food restaurant, says there are numerous benefits to eating pumpkin. Among other things, she says the fruit is a high source of beta-carotene that can help fight cancer cells as well as promote a healthier prostate as the seeds are high in zinc. Bernt says eating pumpkin also will help keep your blood sugar stable, while curbing your appetite with its high amount of fiber. She says pumpkin definitely makes her top 10 list of healthy foods to eat.
"It's really important for people to start thinking about the nutritional aspects of some of these foods and start getting more nutrition. Start building up their bodies and being healthier," Bernt said.
Bernt also says there are dozens of fun ways to make pumpkin.
Two of her favorites are pumpkin soup and pumpkin cheesecake.
Bernt says her "Pumpkin Cheezecake" recipe makes a quick and tasty treat.
"PUMPKIN CHEEZECAKE" :
1 pound firm tofu
1 container "Better than Cream Cheeze"
1 PKG Mori Nu Pudding Mates
1 15oz can Pumpkin Puree
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
"Place ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth. You may also do this in a blender. Pour into a pie shell and allow to cool until set."