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Pump Up The Pumpkin! Mother’s Nature’s Trick & Treat Easy Pumpkin Muffins, Best Ever Soup and Creamy Pumpkin Rice Recipes

Happy Autumn, our good friend! How’s your corner of the universe this past week?  We spent it in Branson, Missouri with dear lifetime friends from Utah, seeing shows, enjoying the weather and having a total ball.

(Eileen and I met in 1974 as BYU college students in the original musical production of “Saturday’s Warrior”  Here’s my Meridian article about that very special experience so long ago.)

We had front row center seats for six fantastic shows, including the Lettermen.  Our grand finale was “The Bretts.”  The mother/grandmother of this award-winning group, Karlynn, drinks and loves the tea! Little-old-me got lots of attention as their comedian son picked me out of the audience to joke with throughout the show. Then Bob won the drawing for the free CD at intermission. Way too much fun!  You can see them HERE.

Be on the lookout as I write a story soon about how a serious injury 20 years ago for Tom Brett, (Karlynn’s son) then a successful chiropractor in Arizona, led them to change their career and life course. It ultimately brought the family to Branson. Wow. God is alive and has plans for each of us. And it’s not always what you think ….

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Our Vegetarian Monthly Pot-Luck Supper Club had a “pumpkin” theme last week.  Oh, my! So delicious!  I just had to include the pumpkin soup recipe we enjoyed and the muffins I made that were such a HUGE hit.  And I’ve been reading up on the health benefits of pumpkins as well.  You’ll be as amazed as we were with the Chinese acrobats show because pumpkins are nature’s “trick or treat” for the Halloween season! Enjoy the info and recipes.

Here’s to a wonderful autumn weekend!

100x50-amazon-5-starsThis Week’s Weekly Winners For 10-20-2017 Are

Janna Kats: 1 Month Supply
Dawn Olson: 2 Week Supply
Brookie Pugmire: 2 Week Supply
Steve Blackhurst: 2 Week Supply

Here you go! You’re winners! If you see your name, please CLICK HERE to tell us and we’ll mail your prize!

Everybody else, CLICK HERE to sign up for the drawing next week on October 27. Don’t forget you need to read the newsletter and reply when you win :0)

 

Chats

This week I got the neatest email from Marsha.  She’s lost 21 pounds and her husband is down 30 in just 10 weeks with ….  guess what? The great eating at
www.forksoverknives.com! Thank you so much for sharing, Marsha!  She says:

I want to thank you for strongly recommending Forks Over Knives. Another friend also recommended it to me, and about 10 weeks ago, I finally started looking into it more seriously. I’ve been watching a lot of videos and reading a great deal of written information by Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Greger, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Lim, Dr. Klaper, Dr. Lisle, et al.

My husband and I have been on a plant-based, whole-foods diet for the past 10 weeks. He hasn’t had his cholesterol screening yet, but I had mine just two weeks into the diet. After just two weeks on the diet, my numbers dropped dramatically, and my doctor told me I don’t need to take statins anymore. I have lost 21 lbs., and John has lost 30. Most of all, we are grateful that our cardiac health is improving and will do so steadily.

Isn’t that inspiring?  It makes you want to check it all out, and believe me, it includes pumpkins and delicious eating.

Today’s Article

Pump Up The Pumpkin!
Info and  Recipes To Enjoy Now and Year Round

Our monthly vegetarian club had a pumpkin theme for this month’s potluck dinner.  We dined on Pumpkin Ravioli, two different pumpkin soups, my muffins that were extremely popular, and a number of other great dishes.

A couple of weeks ago I shared how we’ve started adding it to smoothies.  It adds some thickness, creaminess and just a bit of rich flavor — along with a bunch of vitamins that comes from sneaking veggies in wherever we can.

What other benefits does eating pumpkin provide?

Good For Feeling Full and Healthy Heart! With only 50 calories in a 1 cup serving, which includes 3 grams of fiber to a) keep you full and b) have a healthier heart!  I think we all know that a high fiber diet significantly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

Vitamin A For Better Vision! A one-cup serving of mashed pumpkin has almost twice the daily intake of Vitamin A which promotes better vision.

Helps Us Sleep and Feel Happy! Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid responsible for helping the body make serotonin, which helps us relax and unwind. Some people say that it will even improve our moods … as if the fun of seeing those pumpkins doesn’t already give us a little lift in the happy department.

See? Pumpkins are nature’s trick AND treat!

There are tons of great pumpkin recipes online, but here are three we enjoyed at our Potluck.  They are meatless, and zero fat … and DELICIOUS!

Best Ever Pumpkin Soup

1 potato cut into  1/2 inch cubes
2 carrots finely chopped
1 yellow onion finely chopped
3 small cans of pumpkin
2 quarts of vegetable stock (I use the cubes from the soup section of the store),
2 cups coconut or almond milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons of maple syrup
Spices — salt, pepper, garlic to taste

Directions:  Gently sautee onions, potato, and carrots in 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock until softened.  Add remaining stock, pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup and simmer until cooked and blended.  (The potatoes, carrots and onions will blend together into a smooth mixture.  If it is not as smooth as you’d like, you can run it through the blender for a lovely puree.)

Add the seasonings, and serve in a hollowed out pumpkin!

Our friend at the dinner made croutons with whole wheat bread that he had lightly buttered — or you could spray with Pam, sprinkled with cinammon, lightly toasted under the broiler, then cut into cubes.

Soooo delicious and pretty as it was served in the hollowed out pumpkin. On the side, along with the croutons, were pumpkin seeds and craisins to add as a garnish.

Carolyn‘s Easy Pumpkin Muffins

These were gone in a heartbeat and one of our new friends, at the end of the dinner, stood up announced he’d like a whole pan of these for himself at our next event.  We get the Bob’s Red Mill Museli at the grocery story and include it with our outmeal every morning — it’s got some nuts and seeds that really perk up everything!

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oatmeal (or Bob’s Red Mill Muesilli, or 1/4 cup chopped nuts and raisins)
1/2 cup Sucanat (we get it at the health food store)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnam on
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line or spray muffin tins

3.  Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to blend the pumpkin, applesauce, water and eggs.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  You may need to add some more water.  Divide into the muffin tins.

4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops bounch back when lightly pressed.

Creamy Pumpkin Brown Rice

1 white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cups uncooked brown basmatti rice
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I use cubes), separated
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a small pan, sautee the onion in 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth until soft and transluscent.

In a large pot, combine the pumpkin puree and the remaining vegetable broth in a large bowl until smooth.  (Easiest just to use a hand mixer).

Add the rice and the bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook. Stir occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through and creamy, about 45 minutes.

Fluff and serve!

We’ve got more good information and even a new product to announce next week, and will be back then.  For now, get out and enjoy this pretty fall weekend. Be sure to let some pumpkins delight you!

Carolyn Allen is the mother of 5 children and grandmother to 11 (so far!). She and her husband, Bob, have been helping people feel and look better for years with My Miracle Tea. Read More
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