Sweet potato, squash and especially pumpkin, are all some of the favorite dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. All of these yellow, golden orange vegetables are high in antioxidants, and anti-cancer compounds. Beta-carotene, Lycopene, and Zeaxanthin and Vitamin A are commonly in these colorful veggies. They all are complex carbohydrates.
Colorful Holiday vegetables, winter squashes are real characters, big, unforgettable personalities like the heirloom varieties, the three lobed blue gray Tiamble or the warted Hubbard’s. Squash is high in Potassium, which is good for blood pressure, and high in ALA (alpha lipoic acid), a great antioxidant. Different squash variations have to do with colors, textures and degrees of sweetness.
The trusty butternut is the most well- known creamy and flavor rich squash. The easiest way to get to the flesh of the squash, which can be intimidating, is baking it whole. Then you can open it and scoop out the seeds, cutting out the meat of the squash to use in great holiday recipes.
Save the Seeds to dry and roast with spices. Pumpkin and other squash seeds are high in Zinc and Omega 3, good for prostate, impotency and fighting parasites. Squashes can also help reduce inflammation, improves circulation, qi energy level and alleviates pain.
Sweet potato relieves damp conditions in the body such as edema, eczema and also helps to regulate blood sugar. It promotes discharge of mucous from lungs and throat, and can benefit bronchial asthma. Cooked pumpkin can destroy intestinal worms just like the seeds. The very popular sweet potato fries has become a great substitute for regular white potato fries.
You can also use both of these veggies in soups, stews or as mashed dishes. Pumpkins are great in desserts.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin B 6, chromium, and good for sugar control and for the eyes (for night blindness). They are also two times higher in fiber than white potato.
A compound called Diosgenin, in sweet potato has estrogenic properties and studies suggest they can help relieve menopausal discomfort!
Make your holiday veggie dishes lower in calories by adding less sugar and less butter. You can add more spices for flavor like cinnamon, cloves with pumpkin and sage with squash. Enjoy your dishes this holiday and give your body the benefit.
Local Flavors by Deborah Madison