Pumpkin -- a storehouse of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E -- is a food item recommended by dietitians to help control cholesterol and for weight reduction programs, the website nutrition-and-you.com said.
Vitamin A is a powerful natural antioxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. Research suggests food rich in vitamin A helps a body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers. Pumpkin is also a good source of B vitamins, including folates, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin and pantothenic acid, as well as minerals, including copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus, the website said.
Iowa State University Extension recommends its Guiltless Pumpkin Pie -- 120 calories a slice -- made with no crust so it is also suitable for those on a gluten-free diet.
Here's the recipe:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 5-ounce can fat free evaporated milk
Optional: Low-fat whipped topping and ground cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease or spray a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.
Place eggs in large bowl, beat with a fork or whisk. Add sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir until well mixed. Stir in pumpkin and evaporated milk.
Pour into prepared pie plate.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes -- or until center is set.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time.