Pumpkin Spice is Nice…For Your Eyes? Two Delicious Eye-Healthy Fall Recipes
There’s so much to love about the fall season. The weather turning cooler, the holidays approaching, and pumpkin everything – everywhere! I’m a huge pumpkin fan. That’s why I was excited to learn that pumpkin is a super food for eye health! That’s right – pumpkins are loaded with zinc which is a mineral that keeps your retinas healthy. They’re also full of vitamins like Vitamin A, which protects your cornea and helps you see well in low-light conditions. The Vitamin C in pumpkin reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration—two leading causes of adult blindness. Pumpkins also contain a lot of lutein and zeaxanthin — two powerful antioxidants that act like UV blocking sunglasses for your eyes and help protect you from eye disease.
Looks like your eyes are demanding you indulge in your favorite pumpkin-filled foods this fall! Just make sure you are using fall recipes like these that contain real pumpkin, not just pumpkin flavorings. These synthetic pumpkin taste imitators don’t have the same healthy benefits for your eyes! Here are two of my favorite eye-healthy pumpkin fall recipes.
- 15 oz. can pure pumpkin puree
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups sugar
- 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8.5 x 4 x 2.5 inch loaf pans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, vanilla and sugar until well blended.
Using a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until combined. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
My Baking Addiction adapted from Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread via allrecipes.com
This twist on traditional chili is healthy and wonderful for your eyes. Using diced tomatoes adds even more lutein. This recipe is also dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo and high in fiber so it’s perfect for anyone on a restricted or special diet.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground white or dark meat turkey
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 15-oz. can pumpkin purée
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 0.5 tsp fine sea salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Then add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, 1 cup water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.