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Pumpkin, Pumpkin & More Pumpkin!

With fall inevitably comes a plethora of pumpkin based/flavored food (which I love). Fall also brings us the month of October which happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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“Pumpkin Everything” Image Source

In honor of both Fall & Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we held a “Fall Spirit Week” for Poly-Wood employees to raise money for Hello Gorgeous!, a non-profit in our area that provides makeovers and education to help uplift women battling cancer.

There were three contests total, and each vote was a quarter.  So basically, whichever entry in each contest had the most money in its jar was the winner.

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One of the contests just happened to be a pumpkin recipe contest, something I was very excited to enter. To counter all the high-calorie, super sweet recipes (which I figured would be the majority), I decided to make one of my favorite recipes: a Pumpkin Soup with Red Pepper Mousse.  This recipe only has 150 calories per serving, very low cholesterol, and very high vitamin A and C content.  

But, before we get to the recipe, I thought I’d provide a few pumpkin facts…

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Pumpkin Image Source
    • Pumpkins can grow on 6 of the 7 continents, with Antarctica being the only continent where they can’t grow.
    • Pumpkins are a low calorie food. (They’re 90% water! One cup of canned pumpkin = only 83 calories with ½ a gram of fat)
    • Pumpkins have more fiber than kale, more potassium than bananas, and are full of magnesium and iron
    • Pumpkins are technically fruits and are in the same family as cucumbers and melons

Now, I’m not saying that all that pumpkin pie you eat at Thanksgiving is actually a health food, but for recipes that don’t call for a ton of sugar and butter, pumpkin recipes (like mine below) can actually be pretty healthy options!  

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As a side note, this was a recipe I initially wasn’t sure if I’d really like.  It even has cumin in it, which is something I don’t typically care for outside of taco seasoning.  However, once all the flavors simmer together, and that mousse gets mixed in with the soup, it is an amazing taste.


My personal tips…

1. Use a fresh sugar pumpkin. I’ve found that one batch of soup typically requires the entire pumpkin.

2. Opt for a jar of roasted red peppers, rather than roasting fresh ones yourself. This helps speed up the process since the soup has to simmer for a while.

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Use a fresh sugar pumpkin for this recipe

Wondering who won the contest?

Well, I was correct in my assumption that most people would bring desserts.  I actually had the only savory dish.

I ended up with some of each entry on my plate and they were all very good! I honestly thought my chances were over once I tasted Aaron’s Pumpkin Ravioli with his homemade Salted Caramel Whipped Cream (he may just have to share his recipe on the blog).

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Aaron’s Pumpkin Ravioli w/homemade Salted Caramel Whipped Cream definitely deserves an honorable mention (especially since he was up until 1am making it!)

I’m happy to report that I actually emerged victorious, proving that sweet does not always beat out savory, even with pumpkins! And, more importantly, we raised $500 for Hello Gorgeous!

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