Pumpkin Dip/Spread

pumpkin dip recipeThis delicious dip is a perfect option for everything from breakfast to your appetizer table at your holiday meal. Spread it on whole wheat toast, crackers, apple slices or even some veggies for a flavorful, filling snack. It’s extremely easy to prepare and is something the entire family can enjoy.

We’ve touted the benefits of pumpkin and why they’re ideal for diets and easy weight loss programs in earlier posts, but we’ll recap them today to inspire you even more. Pumpkin is extremely fiber-rich, with three grams per one cup serving and only 49 calories—so you’ll feel much fuller longer without a hefty calorie count. It’s also packed with other essential nutrients, such as beta-carotene, the antioxidant that gives it its vibrant hue, which has been shown to help prevent various forms of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Pumpkins are also loaded with phytosterols, plant-based chemicals that may reduce LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol levels, making them a heart healthy food. In addition, they boast an array of carotenoids that helps combat free radical damage and wrinkles.

Pumpkins are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps boost our immune system, and tryptophan, an amino acid that is essential to serotonin production, which can boost our moods.  Last but not least, pumpkin is packed with potassium, which combats bloating and can help restore our electrolyte balance after a workout.

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1/2 cup fresh pumpkin, pureed
1 cup Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into a container that you can seal and chill in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be served.  


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