a group of orange pumpkins

Happy October! Pumpkin Paradise is Here!

Walk through the aisles at Trader Joe’s, and there’s no denying that autumn is officially here. Pumpkin bars, seeds, bread, jam, pasta sauce, salsa…you name it, it’s there! Before you get to carving, consider munching, too. Turns out, pumpkins and their seeds have a whole patch of health benefits.

Remember how mom told you to eat your carrots for good eyesight? The same goes for bright orange pumpkins! Carotenoids are converted by the body into Vitamin A and work as a boost for proper peepers.

Pumpkins are also a large, healthy source of fiber, so a pumpkin snack will help keep you full and satisfied. This may be helpful for wait and diet management.

Just like other nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds are a particularly healthy snack choice. They have chemicals known to reduce cholesterol and help with heart protection and blood pressure. Plus, they are known to provide a mood boost!

As for specific cancer benefits, pumpkins are a good choice. Full of antioxidants (just like cranberries and other similar fruits and veggies), pumpkins also have plant sterols that may help with cancer prevention and limitation. These same characteristics can help keep skin wrinkles and discoloration at bay. Pumpkins are also a hot source for Vitamin C, widely regarded to boost the immune system when consumed at healthy levels. In fact, consuming one cup of cooked canned pumpkin would cover 100% of your daily Vitamin A intake and 20% of your daily Vitamin C intake.

Check out Huffington Post and Medical News Daily for more information. In the mean time, get carving and munching! Here are some of our favorite healthy pumpkin recipes. They’re a total treat.

Simple Pumpkin Soup

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte 

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Your Healthy 4th of July Guide

We searched the web to create a definitive list of healthy 4th of July recipes! Scroll to see wholesome, easy tips we’ve gathered for you to enjoy this holiday. Let us know what you’ll be using, and share favorites with your friends!


EASY, HEALTHY RECIPES

Want to rock a potluck without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen? Here are some super snappy recipes that are healthy AND fun.

Watermelon Cake

An easy “cake” made almost exclusively of fruit, with no batter needed! Plus, you can probably get your prep time under ten minutes.

Flag Fruit Kabobs

A refreshing family treat to create together! Have everyone work on a different kabob! Arrange according to a photo guide, and you have a patriotic, nutritious serving of fruit. Click the image example below to find a step-by-step guide from Rada Cutlery!

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Red White and Basil:

A Caprese Salad Plate is an easy and classic potluck recipe! Simply layer round slices of mozzarella with tomato slices and pieces of basil. Click the photo below for instructions from All Recipes. Avoiding dairy? Substitute cauliflower!

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Cranberry Relish:

Filled with antioxidants, cranberries are a colorful must not only for Thanksgiving-but also 4th of July! Check out this tasty Cranberry Relish recipe, and serve it on absolutely anything: Veggie burgers, wholegrain crackers and even a bed of spinach! Click the image below for the recipe-you can substitute orange juice for the liqueur. Too much sugar? Coconut sugar is a sweet alternative!

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 Main Dish Idea:

Want an all-in alternative to traditional 4th of July pasta salads? Quinoa is the way to go! According to Medical News Today, quinoa is the only grain considered a complete source of protein. It also has tons of vitamins, calcium, iron and other nutrients! Red quinoa is a festive idea for your Fourth. Serve the quinoa with grilled chicken breast and purple potatoes or carrots for a patriotic and well-balanced meal!

Happy Fourth, FFLB Community!

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