Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 219- Nutrition Bite

Pumpkin is very high in carotenoids. Carotenoids are really good at neutralizing free radicals which are nasty molecules that can attack cell membranes and leave the cells vulnerable to damage. Pumpkin is also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which scavenge free radicals in the lens of the eye. Therefore, lutein and zeaxanthin may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration (a serious eye problem that may result in blindness). In addition to carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin are all antioxidants. Pumpkin has many common nutrients such as iron, zinc and fiber. Iron is needed by red blood cells; zinc deficiency may be related to osteoporosis of the hip and spine in older men; and fiber is important for bowel health.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

3 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 slices whole wheat bread
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F(200 degrees C). Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spread butter mixture evenly over one side of each bread slice. Place bread, buttered side up, on a baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until bread is crisp and topping is bubbly. Cut each slice of bread into 8 small triangles or squares. Saute onion in butter in a medium saucepan until tender. Add 1 can chicken broth; stir well. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Transfer broth mixture into the container of a blender or processor. Process until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan. Add remaining can of broth, pumpkin, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground pepper; stir well. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally..
Stir in whipping cream and heat through. Do not boil. Ladle into individual soup bowls. Top each serving with Cinnamon Croutons.
Sugar Preacher's Experience
A member of our dinner group created this soup the other night. It was great! He experimented with chestnuts from the park and the taste was bitter. He then revamped his recipe and created this delightful fall soup. It takes trial and error sometimes until you reach edible entrees! However, this soup surpassed edible!!

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