Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Healthy Bites: Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Here's a healthy cookie twist!

More than just a decorative Halloween candle holder or a pie filling to be eaten only once a year, pumpkin is one of the most nutritional foods available year round. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and low in fat, both the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin provide many health-boosting nutrients. Check out some of the nutrients in pumpkin:

• Alpha-carotene
• Beta-carotene
• Fiber
• Vitamins C and E
• Potassium
• Magnesium
• Pantothenic acid

Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber; one-half cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, protect the body against heart disease, control blood sugar levels, promote healthy digestion, and plays a role in weight loss. In addition, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are potent antioxidants found in pumpkin and are pro-vitamin A carotenoids which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and ensures proper immune function. Not to mention, the Vitamin C in pumpkin also boosts immunity! Pumpkin also contains Vitamin E which promotes healthy skin by protecting the body from sun damage. So, stock up on pumpkin this fall and start by making the Pumpkin Protein Cookies!

“Pumpkin Protein Cookies” Recipe

• 3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup soy flour
• 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 2 teaspoons water
• 2 egg whites
• 1 teaspoon molasses
• 1 tablespoon flax seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, whisk together Splenda®, oats, wheat flour, soy flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in pumpkin, canola oil, water, egg whites, and molasses. Stir in flax seeds, if desired. Roll into 14 large balls, and flatten on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes in preheated oven. Cookies will turn out dry if overbaked.

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
Calories: 89, Carbohydrate: 15 gm, Fiber: 2.5 gm, Protein: 4 gm, Fat: 2 gm, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Protein-Cookies/Detail.aspx

If you have a question for the dietitian, visit www.texashealth.org/askamy

Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Registered Dietitian
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Ben Hogan Sports Medicine
Executive Health Program

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