Healthy Beginnings

Perfect Pumpkins

Infused with bright flavors, orange vegetables like pumpkins (part of the gourd family) are one of the world’s healthiest foods but not one that we cook with often enough. The deep orange vegetable is linked to a host of health-promoting benefits. From fending off free radicals to protecting the eyes and skin from damaging ultraviolet rays, orange vegetables deliciously boost overall health.

Essential for glowing jack-o-lanterns and creamy Thanksgiving pies, pumpkin is surprisingly full of essential vitamins and minerals. It stands at the top of the Superfood list and joins the esteemed nutrition powerhouse ranks of salmon and blueberries. Pumpkin’s bright orange color, compliments of an abundance of beneficial carotenoid pigments, may also promote cardiovascular health, and as a top source of lutein, pumpkin may support eye health. Rich in alpha- and beta-carotene, pumpkin also supplies healthy amounts of fiber, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin C, iron and vitamin E.

Pumpkin is available all year, conveniently frozen or canned, and can be easily added to your meals. Stir up a curried pumpkin soup, add a dollop of pumpkin puree to oatmeal cookies or indulge in sweet pumpkin flan.

Enjoy this inventive pumpkin recipe that is sure to become a family favorite!

Curried Pumpkin and Black-Eyed Peas

Prep Time: 25 minutes, Serves 4


1 medium organic yellow onion, minced

1/4 cup coconut, shredded

3 cloves garlic

2 serrano or Thai chili peppers

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

1 tsp. cumin, ground

1/4 tsp. cinnamon, ground

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. coriander, ground

2 Tbsp. Wild Oats Canola Oil

1 Tbsp. organic vegetable or chicken stock

Combine the above ingredients in a food processor and puree the mixture to a paste. Remove the paste from the blender and keep aside.

Pumpkin Mixture

1 Tbsp. Wild Oats Canola Oil

3/4 pound organic tomatoes, diced

4 cups fresh organic pumpkin (about 1 small pumpkin), peeled and diced into 1” pieces

1 can black-eyed peas, drained

2 cups Wild Oats Organic spinach

2 cups Wild Oats Organic Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom, 4-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the spice paste and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock and peas. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Add the spinach and remove from the heat. Serve over barley garnished with sprigs of fresh organic parsley.

Lisa High holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Management from Oregon State University, and a Master of Science degree in Gerontology (study of aging) with an emphasis in Physiology and Nutrition from the University of Arizona. She is a Registered Dietitian at Wild Oats who has practiced nutritional counseling for nearly 10 years.