Pumpkin For Fall and Hormone Balance

By Lindsay Chandler, Food Advocate

Fall is here and so are delicious pumpkin treats!

I know that some of my favorite memories of fall include indulging in pumpkin-flavored sweets and treats. As I’ve followed along with the 5-Element System over the years I began to make changes in my diet and have found ways to keep some of those memorable pumpkin flavors as well as a few brand new ways to enjoy them!

Pumpkins are an awesome food for women with PCOS and symptoms of hormone imbalance. They are loaded with fiber, offer tons of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and potassium, as well as give a generous boost of antioxidants. They can be enjoyed savory or sweet and can be eaten with any meal of the day!

When shopping for pumpkins you have a few options. Canned pumpkin is usually offered seasonally and can be found near the baking section in your local supermarket. When purchasing canned pumpkin look for organic pumpkin puree. Avoid purchasing pumpkin pie filling, which is loaded with sugar and spices. The other option is to purchase a whole sugar pumpkin. These are the best for flavor and texture. One 2-3 pound sugar pumpkin can usually yield the same amount of puree as 1 – 15oz. can.

Here are 5 simple steps to roasting your own sugar pumpkin:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. With a sharp knife slice off the top of your pumpkin.
3. Slice your pumpkin in half from top to bottom.
4. Scoop out the inside filling.
5. Place both halves of your pumpkin sliced-side-down and pop them into your oven.

Let it bake for about 35 – 45 minutes depending on the size. To make puree: once your pumpkin has cooled peel back the skin of the pumpkin and place the flesh into a blender. Blend on high until it becomes a smooth texture.

Once you have your pumpkin roasted or your pantry stocked with canned pumpkin puree there are so many ways to enjoy it! Here are some of my favorites:

– Pumpkin Smoothie
– Pumpkin Soup
– Pumpkin Hummus
– Pumpkin Curry
– Pumpkin Bread
– Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Don’t let this fall pass you by without trying out some PCOS-friendly pumpkin dishes. It is definitely one of my favorite times of the year as well as one of my favorite flavors of the year.

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