Health Coach Corner – Pumpkins!

Health Coach Corner – by Maria Hicks


Yes!  It’s that time of year for “all things pumpkin” – that’s my motto for October & November.  I love pumpkin bread, cookies, desserts, soups, etc…  I am giddy right now!  I just stocked up on canned pumpkin.  I love cooking with it.  I make pumpkin cookies and muffins – I add a lot of spices (and just a little sugar).

I have been known to eat pumpkin – straight from the can!  Oh yes, you heard me correctly, right from the can.  Did you know there are quite a few wonderful health benefits of pumpkin?  Not just canned pumpkin, but fresh pumpkin and pumpkin seeds!

Here are some of the health benefits for your awesome Fall flavor:

Vitamin A – helps fight free radicals in the body

Vitamin C – improves immunity

Magnesium – a mineral for maintenance of bones & teeth

Potassium – can prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease

Zinc – boosts immune system & promotes reproductive health

Fiber – helps lower bad (LDL) cholesterol & regulates blood sugar & improves digestion

So, go and enjoy a little pumpkin!  Here’s a recipe for healthy “pumpkin bites”.

Pumpkin Bites

These bite-sized pumpkin treats are a cross between a cookie and a muffin. Make them plain or sprinkle some dried cranberries or raisins and even a few chocolate chips for a delightful sweet treat.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 cup melted butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg white

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, using a whisk, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and egg white, pumpkin and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.

Optional: Fold in 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup raisins

Drop spoonfuls of dough an inch or so apart on a parchment- or silicone lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack.

Makes 30 cookies.

Per cookie (without chocolate chips or raisins): Calories 78, Calories from Fat 16, Total Fat 1.8g (sat 1.1g), Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 64mg, Carbohydrate 14.3g, Fiber 0.4g, Protein 1.3g

Per cookie (with chocolate chips and raisins): Calories 107, Calories from Fat 25, Total Fat 2.8g (sat 2.2g) Cholesterol 12mg, Sodium 64mg, Carbohydrate 18.9g, Fiber 0.8g, Protein 1.5g


*Recipe from