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Winter Squash and Pumpkins

 My friend, Daniel Max, sends out the best recipes at the most appropriate times.  I share these two with you this crisp and sunny New England morning!

Not only sweet and filling, winter squash’s anti-cancer effects are beneficial in fighting against diabetes and heart disease. It’s rich in the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene which contains anti-inflammatory properties. The rich content of beta-carotene in winter quash makes it a healthy vegetable to fight against asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, all of which have inflammatory symptoms. Winter squash is also rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which considerably lowers the risk of lung cancer. Being high in fiber, winter squash helps lower cholesterol and protects the colon.

Not only does this vegetable provide us with its sweetness, its carotenoids help  regulate the blood sugar level. Its potassium content also helps lower blood pressure.

Gourmet Squash

1 acorn squash
cooked grain (brown rice, quinoa, millet etc.)
dried cranberries  (preferably sweetened with apple juice concentrate rather than sugar)
1 onion
chard or kale
extra virgin olive oil
shredded goat or cow cheese (optional)

Cut squash in half, discard seeds, and place face down in baking dish with 1” water. Bake for 40 minutes at 375F until tender.
Sauté onion for 5 minutes, add greens until they soften 2-3 minutes.  Add cooked grain and cranberries, mix for another minute.  Stuff squash with grain mixture, sprinkle cheese on top and bake face up for another 10-15 minutes.  Serve warm!

Daniel’s Pumpkin Muffins (made with Quinoa!)

1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or from a can)
2 Tbs ground flax seeds mixed with 1/3 cup hot water, cooled for 10 minutes.
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½  tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups white whole-wheat flour**
additional 1/3 cup pecan pieces

Chop walnuts and 1/2 cup pecans. Add all other ingredients except flour and extra pecans and blend. Add flour and blend. Fold in in 1/3 cup pecan pieces.
Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes.

Visit www.FoodWithAPulse.com for more of Daniel’s amazing ideas around healthy eating!

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