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Lifestyle Choices for Wellness

Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.

10/9/2013-The Yummy Joys of Fall

It's taken awhile to arrive, but I think fall is finally here! The humid, muggy days of summer have ceased and mild temperatures have become a daily pleasure. All the novelties of fall are setting in: apple orchard outings, squash lining the produce isles, football weekends, wiener roasts and Halloween costumes in full stock. While all of these are "must dos" in the spirit of the season, for me, the best part of autumn is getting to add the MAGIC ingredient of the season to almost EVERYTHING I cook/bake. Yup, you guessed it, its pumpkin time! Not to mention, the whole carving/painting of these beautiful orange blossoms.

Did you know Illinois is one of the top pumpkin producing states in which 496 million pounds of pumpkins were produced in Illinois in 2008?

While pumpkin is so well associated with jack o' lanterns and holiday pies that not everyone realizes it is a nutritious vegetable that makes a spectacular side dish. One cup of cooked pumpkin provides 245 percent of your daily need for Vitamin A for only 49 calories!

Why not "treat" your family to savory roasted pumpkin throughout the fall? Sweet "pie" pumpkins are best for roasting...

  1. Scrub the pumpkin thoroughly, dry it, and cut it in half.
  2. Scrape out the seeds and membrane.
  3. Cut each pumpkin into eighths, to make wedges.
  4. Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil or olive oil in a shallow baking pan. Turn the wedges in the oil until lightly coated. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place the wedges evenly spaced, skin side down, on the sheet. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes or until fork tender. The edge of the wedges should be caramelized.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.

Hungry for some more pumpkin recipes? University of Illinois Extension is one step ahead of you when it comes to this unique fall food. Visit for endless information and resources on everything pumpkin!

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